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TORONTO, 1907. 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 

1 I 








The University Press. 







Walls of the city, their great an- 
tiquity, &c P. 1 

The castle 2 

Ross of Warwick 2 

Other ancient authors who men- 
tion Oxford 3 

Oxford in the Saxon times 3 

— under the Norman kings ... .4 

Henry III. in Oxford 5 

The ' Provisions of Oxford' ... .4 
Royal proclamation in Saxon, with 
an English translation of it . . 6 
Walter de Merton, chancellor . .7 
The word universitas, note .... 7 
Increased authority of the chan- 
cellor 8 

Ancient municipal jurisdiction . 10 

Charters 11-14 

Police 14 

Population, &c 15 

City mace 16 

Abstract of charters granted 

to the university . . . .17-27 

Charter of 29th Edward III. ..17 

Agreement respecting the juris- 

diction of the hundred of north- 
gate 20 

Agreement between the university 

and city 21 

Charter of Henry IV. 1407 . . .22 
Charter of 13th Eliz. 1571 . 22-26 
Dates of parliaments holden in 

Oxford 26 

■ law terms kept 26 

Comparative statement of the num- 
ber of members of the univer- 
sity at different periods 26 

Judge Blackstone's analysis of 
the great charter of 1635, 

11th Car. 1 27 

Abstract of charters granted 

to the city 28-32 

Charter of Henry II 28 

— 1st John, 1199 29 

— 41st Henry III. 1257 30 

— 29th Edward 1 30 

— 1st Edward III 30 

— 3rd James 1 31 

— 16th Charles II 32 

Corporation reform act 32 


*General view of Oxford, from the hill on the Abingdon road frontispiece 

Arms of the University 1 

Fac-simile of Saxon manuscript 5 

Head of the virger's and bedels' staves 9 

a Those marked * are engraved on steel. 
A 2 



City mace and staves 16 

The university seal 17 

The city seal 25 

*The town hall 25 


Castles anterior to the Norman 

conquest 1 

D'Oiley's tower 2 

The original castle called mota . .2 
The word moat explained, note . .2 

A Saxon castle here 3 

— the residence of the Saxon 

kings 3 

Saxon remains 4 

Inquisition of 5 Edw. III. men- 
tions various buildings 4 

The well and well-room 5 

St. George's tower used as a cam- 
panile 5 

Structure of the tower 7 

Saxon crypt, discovered by Mr. 

Harris 8 

The empress Maud besieged in the 

castle 9 

The ground plan and descrip- 
tion 11-13 

The castle mills 14 

The new buildings 15 

The chapel 16 


*East view of the castle and mount 1 

Entrance gateway, &c. from the new road 1 

Ancient well room in the mount 5 

Ancient crypt or chapel 8 

Ground plan 12 

The old tower from the mill stream 16 


With a brief Review of the Academical History of Oxford. 

Schools in Oxford beyond all re- 
cord 1 

— restored by king Alfred .... 2 

— of St. Frideswide 3 

Collegiate church of St. George in 

the castle 3 

Schools divided into secular and 

claustral 4 

The rector of the schools 4 

School street 4 

St. Mary's church used for scho- 
lastic arts 5 


Determining bachelors, the name 

explained, note 5 

The schools of arts first reduced 
into one building about 1439.. 5 
But the divinity school not finish- 
ed till 1486 6 

Schools belonging to Oseney ab- 
bey 6 

Wodecocke schools 6 

Torald schools 6 

Order of study in those times . . 7 
Chamberdekyns (chamberdeacons) 7 
Number of schools limited to 

thirty-two 7 

Formalities observed 8 

— now dispensed with 9 

Statute of 1 662 requiring two de- 
clamations 9 

— threw into the shade the former 
system of disputations 10 

An entire change introduced by 

the statute of 1800 10 

The Laudian code and Caroline 
statutes misunderstood, note.. 10 

The new schools 1 1-16 

Repairs and ultimate decay of the 

old schools 11 

The pig market (proscholium) ..11 
Noble designs of sir T. Bod- 
ley 12 

The first stone laid by sir J. Ben- 
nett in 1613 12 

Thomas Holt the architect .... 12 
J. Acroid and the Bentleys, build- 
ers 13 

Architecture of the tower, &c. . 14 
Appointment of the several 

schools 14 

The archways have groined vault- 
ing with escutcheons, &c. . ..16 
The divinity school .... 17-22 
Teachers at first read in their own 
chambers 17 


— afterwards in St. Mildred's 
church 17 

Exercises transferred to St. Mary's 

church 17 

Site obtained for a new school ..18 
Numerous contributors ; duke 

Humphrey, bishop Kemp, &c. 

&c 19 

The work retarded by various 

causes 20 

— assisted by Waynflete .... 20 
Its unexampled splendour ... .21 
Melancholy state of the building 

in the reign of Edward VI. . .21 

Repaired about 1557 21 

House of commons (parliamen- 
tum vanum) assembled here in 
1625 21 

House of Lords in the picture 
gallery 21 

Schools used as storehouses dur- 
ing the civil war 22 

Incongruous load of carpentry 
erected in 1669 22 

A. door made under one of the 
windows opposite to the theatre 
by sir C.Wren 22 

The theatre, founded by arch- 
bishop Sheldon in 1664 23 

Sir Christopher Wren the archi- 
tect 23 

Public lectures and profes- 
sors 23-32 

Lectures in early times 24 

A theological lecture founded by 
Edward IV 25 

— endowed by the lady Margaret, 
countess of Richmond 25 

Seven lectures founded by car- 
dinal Wolsey, but not con- 
firmed 26 

Four of them adopted by Henry 

VIII 26 



And a fifth established for He- 
brew 26 

These five called regius professor- 
ships 26 

Additional endowments in the 
reign of James 1 26 

Greek professor still limited to 
40/. per annum 26 

Act of 1 Edward VI. for dissolving 
chantries, &c. expressly designed 
to convert them to " good and 
godly uses," note 26 

Regius professorship of modern 
history founded by George I. in 
1724 27 

Design of this endowment, note 27 

Twenty history scholars, part of 
the original foundation, to be 
appointed by the crown ... .27 

Sir Henry Savile's lectures for geo- 
metry and astronomy, 161 9.. 2 7 

Sir William Sedley's lecture in 
natural philosophy, 1618 ...28 

Dr. Thomas White's reader in 
moral philosophy, 1621 ... .28 

Camden's reader of histories . .29 

Lecture in anatomy founded by 
R. Tomlins, esq. in 1623 29 

A professorship of music by Dr. 
W r . Heather 29 

Archbishop Laud's professorship 
of Arabic, 1636 30 

The lord almoner's reader in 
Arabic 30 

The professorship of poetry found- 
ed by Henry Birkhead, D.C.L. 
in 1708 30 

Anglo-Saxon professorship by Dr. 
Rawlinson 31 

Professorship of common law by 
Charles Viner, esq. in 1755... 31 

Clinical professorship founded by 
the earl of Lichfield, 1772 . .31 

Professorships of anatomy, medi- 
cine, and chemistry, by Dr. 
George Aldrich, in 1803 31 

Readers in experimental philoso- 
phy, mineralogy, and geology, 
endowed by George IV 31 

Professor of political economy by 
Henry Drummond, esq. in 
1825 31 

— of Sanscrit by colonel Boden, 
as settled in 1830 31 

Munificent bequest of sir Robert 
Taylor, for ' erecting a proper 
edifice and establishing a foun- 
dation for the teaching and 
improving the European lan- 
guages' 27-32 


*East front from the corner of New college lane . , t 1 

The great doorway 1 

The old schools from Nele 5 

*Proscholium of the divinity school 9 

Part of the west side of quadrangle 13 

Passage from Radcliffe square .. 16 

^Interior of the divinity school 17 

Pendants in ditto 17 



Doorway of ditto 22 

*Front of the theatre 23 

*Tower and quadrangle .... 25 

The Pomfret gallery 32 


The university libraries previous 
to the time of sir Thomas Bod- 
ley 1-6 

Lisle's library 1 

Cobham's library 2 

Duke Humphrey's library 3 

The divinity school 5 

The convocation house 6 

Sir Thomas Bodley 6-11 

List of catalogues of the library 
from the first printed to the 

present time, note 10 

Benefactors 11, 12 

The earl of Pembroke, 1629 ..11 

Sir Kenelm Digby, 1633 12 

Archbishop Laud 12 

Selden, Tanner, &c 12 

Mr. Malone's collection 12 

Mr. Gough's library 12 

Mr. Douce's library 13 

Additions to the funds of the 

library 13 

Purchases 14, 15 

— library of J. P. D'Orville ... 14 

— manuscripts collected by E. D. 
Clarke 14 

by the abbati canonici at 

Venice 14 

— from the Meerman library at 
the Hague 14 

— rabbinical collection of the Op- 
penheim family 14 

— from the library of Richard 
Heber, esq 14 

— 50,000 academical disserta- 
tions 15 

An annual statement of purchases 

printed 15 

Portraits in the library 15 

Librarians 15 


^Exterior of part of the library and divinity school 1 

Duke Humphrey's library 1 

Medal of sir T. Bodley 6 

*Interior of library 9 

The Douce museum 13 

Part of the library, &c. from Exeter college garden 16 




The art of printing introduced into 
England by William Caxton . . 1 

— London, about 1475 2 

— Oxford, 1478 3 

— St. Alban's, 1480 3 

List of the earliest specimens of 

Oxford printing, note 3 

R. Atkyn's account of F. Corsellis 4 

Antony a Wood's account of print- 
ing in Oxford, note 5 

The Oxford press dormant from 
1520 to 1585 6 

All the other presses in England, 
except London, silent for the 
same period 6 

A new press established in Oxford 
by the earl of Leicester in 1585 . 7 

Joseph Barnes, the University print- 
er, and his successors, note ... 8 

The first Greek and Hebrew pub- 
lications 8 

Employment of the Oxford press 

during the troubles of Charles 1. 8 
A patent granted to the university 

in 1632 9 

The Sheldonian Theatre ... .9 

First work printed there 9 

The Clarendon press 11 

First sheet worked there, note . 1 1 
University printing house . .12 

First sheet worked there 13 

Privilege of printing granted usu- 
ally by sovereign princes. ... 13 
This power possessed by the chan- 
cellor of Oxford so early as 

1518 13 

Delegates of the press 14 

Character and importance of the 

Oxford press 14 

Engraved devices used in the title- 
pages of Oxford books 15 

The Clarendon Building 16 

Buildings of the present ' Univer- 
sity printing house' 16 


*The Clarendon building, and Broad street 1 

*The university printing house, from the Radcliffe infirmary 9 

Typographical devices, used as vignettes in the title-pages of Oxford 
books — 

N°. I. 1517- The university arms 1 

N°. II. 1585. The university arms 2 

N°. III. 1674. North front of the theatre 9 

N°. IV. 1700. South elevation of the theatre 10 

N°. V. 1759. The Clarendon press 12 

N°. VI. 1830. The new university printing house 16 




Roger Bacon's observatory on the 

tower of Sunningwell church . . 1 
— at Grandpont, called ■ Friar 

Bacon's Study' 2 

Sir Henry Savile's foundation . . 2 

Professor John Greaves 2 

The upper room of the tower of the 

Schools used as an observatory 3 

Dr. Wallis 3 

Stable hall appropriated to the 

Savilian professors 3 

Observatory erected upon it .... 3 
Professor Bradley 4 

Professor Hornsby 5 

Observations of the transit of Ve- 
nus in 1769 5 

Great want of an observatory ... 5 
Application made to the trustees 

of Dr. Radcliffe's estates 6 

Mr. Keene's plans 6 

— completed, with some altera- 

tions, by Mr. James Wyatt . . 6 

Arrangement of the rooms and of 

the instruments 7,8 

The equatorial 9 

Liberality of the Radcliffe trustees 9 


*The Radcliffe observatory 1 

Friar Bacon's study 1 

Old observatory in New College lane 4 

Stable hall, with the old observatory 9 

Ground plan of the Radcliffe observatory 12 


Collection of John Tradescant . . 10 
John Tradescant, the son, be- 
queaths it to Elias Ashmole . 10 
Ashmole, and his additions to the 

collection 11 

Manuscripts of sir W. Dugdale, 
Antony a Wood, and Aubrey, 

added to the library 12 

MartinLister's collection of shells 1 2 

Plot, Llwyd, Borlase, &c 12 

Dr. R. Rawlinson bequeaths a sa- 
lary for the curator 13 

Great improvements made in the 

Museum by J. S. Duncan, esq. 1 3 
— followed up with equal spirit by 

his brother, P. B.Duncan, esq. 14 
The collection in mineralogy and 

geology 15 

Sir Christopher Pegge's collection 

of minerals purchased 15 

A collection in geology begun by 

Dr. Kidd — increased by Mr. 

W. Conybeare and Mr. H. 

Drummond 15 

Dr. Buckland's collection, present- 
ed in 1823 15 


Rev. J. J. Conybeare's collection, 
bequeathed in 1824 15 

The collection, having become too 
large for the Museum, was re- 

moved to the Clarendon in 
1832 15 

Collection of minerals presented by 
R. Simmons, esq. M.D 16 


*N. E. View of the museum and the new building of Exeter college 

in Broad street 13 

Lower room of the museum 16 


The founder, Dr. John Rad- 


— born at Wakefield in 1650 . . 1 

— entered at University college 2 

— elected fellow of Lincoln col- 
lege 2 

— commenced practice in Oxford 2 

— distinguished for wit and viva- 
city 2 

— anecdote — Radcliffe's library 2 

— intimacy with Dr. Bathurst . .2 

— removes to London in 1684 . 3 

— his answer to Dr. Obadiah 
Walker 4 

— acquires wealth rapidly 4 

— attends queen Mary and king 
William 4 

— his freedom with the king ... 5 

— his extraordinary predictions 6 

— attends prince George 7 

— predicts his own death 7 

— his death and burial 8 

— his benefactions to University 
college, &c 2 

The lierary 10 

— its situation 10 

— ground plan of the site .... 1 1 

— sum bequeathed to it 12 

— the foundation stone laid ... 1 2 

— at first called the ' Physic li- 
brary ' 12 

Dr. Radcliffe's first design to en- 
large the Bodleian library ... 13 

A new square formed by demo- 
lishing a number of decayed 
buildings 14 

School street, and ancient schools 
which stood on this site .15, 16 


*View of the library, from the quadrangle of All Souls' college 1 

The vestibule 1 

The library, &c. from Cat street 5 

*Interior of the library 9 

Ground plan of the square, from Loggan 11 

The library from Exeter college garden 16 



And other Institutions for the Study of Medicine. 

Lectures, &c. in medicine from an 
early period 1 

— not endowed until the time of 
Lynacre, 1524 1 

Some account of Thomas Lyn- 
acre, note 1 

Thomas Musgrave the first pro- 
fessor 2 

Lands made over to Merton col- 
lege 2 

A public professorship founded by 
Edward II 2 

— endowed by James 1 2 

Anatomical lecture founded by R. 

Tomlins, esq. in 1624 3 

The Anatomy School, erected by 

Dr. M. Lee in 1750 3 

Flourishing state of science in Ox- 
ford in the 1 7th century 4 

The Botanic garden, founded by 

lord Danvers 5 

The works completed in 1633 . . 6 
John Tradescant appointed gar- 
dener 6 

The designs of lord Danvers inter- 
rupted by the civil wars 6 

Dr. Robert Morison appointed pro- 
fessor, 1669 7 

John Evelyn's visits to the gar- 
den 7 

Jacob Bobart the elder, gardener, 
and the younger, professor ... 8 

Dr. William Sherard, professor 8 

— his munificent benefactions . . 9 

— his herbarium 9 

State of the gardens in Sherard's 

time 10 

Dr. Dillenius, the first Sherardian 

professor 12 

Visit of Linnaeus 13 

Dr. Sibthorpe, the elder 13 

Dr Sibthorpe, the younger.. . 13 

— his munificent designs and be- 
quests for the advancement of 
botany 14 

— his Flora Grseca 14 

Succeeded by Dr. Williams and 

Dr. Daubeny 15 

The late improvements in the gar- 
den 15 

Suggestions for further improve- 
ments 16 


*View of the garden 1 

The Danby gate I 

The Anatomy school 4 

Plan of the garden 11 

New building 16 



Reasons for its erection 1 The stone of which it is built ... 5 

Proceedings for that object 2 Description of the cross 6 

The site fixed 3 Inscription upon it 7 

Laying the first stone 4 

The Martyrs' Memorial from St. Giles's 1 


Bequest of sir Robert Taylor ... 8 Regulations of the Taylor Institu- 

Designs sent in 9 tion 11 

The building erected 1843-44. 10 


The Taylor Building from Beaumont street 9 


Legacy of Dr. Randolph 13 the original drawings of Michael 

The Pomfret statues placed in the Angelo and Raffaelle, purchased 

basement 14 by subscription and placed in a 

Sir Francis Chantrey's casts, given fire-proof gallery 15 

by lady Chantrey, and placed in Munificence of the earl of Eldon 15 

the western wing 14 The picture gallery 16 

Sir Thomas Lawrence's collection of The curators — the keeper 16 



General History of the University and City. 

J. HE city of Oxford, properly so called, appears almost 
antecedently to any authentic record to have been en- 
compassed with strong and lofty walls ; portions of 
which still remain in many parts of its ancient pre- 
cincts : particularly on the north and east sides of New 
College ; that society having constantly repaired them in 
strict accordance with their original character, as bound 
by a composition between their founder and the city\ 

This escutcheon is remarkable, as combining together the three 
mottos or legends used in succession by the university. 

b Many houses also, denominated in the Domesday Survey mural 
mansions, were expressly held on condition of repairing the wall, as 

49 b 


These walls were of an oblong form, nearly square from 
the east end to about the middle, where they assumed a 
kind of parabolic curve on each side, gradually contract- 
ing towards the west end, so as to afford just space 
enough for a strong fortress, or ' castellum,' constructed 
in the most scientific manner, and surrounded with a 
deep moat, gates, turrets, drawbridges, &c. c At regu- 
lar intervals of less than 200 feet from each other were 
semicircular bastions, with steps in the interior concave 
part, by which there was an easy ascent to the parapet 
above, for the purpose of observation or defence. Many 
of these bastions still remain ; and others may be seen 
accurately delineated in Loggan's ichnography of the 
university and city, dedicated to bishop Compton. They 
may also be traced in the map by Agas, and in the plan 
annexed to this work. The modern lines of fortifica- 
tion, prepared in the reign of king Charles I. for the 
defence of the city, from a plan by Rallingson of Queen's, 
improved by Beckman, have been repeatedly engraved. 

The first historian, who collected materials to illustrate 
the antiquities of Oxford, was John Ross of Warwick, 
one of whose manuscripts is dated in 1468. He travelled 

the term itself implied ; but from various causes every vestige of a 
wall has in many places vanished. Where the walls stood in the way 
of public buildings, and local improvements, there was a plausible 
pretext for removing them ; but wanton destruction is in all cases 
unpardonable. In process of time many of the trenches, which con- 
veyed the waters of the Thames and the Char well on the north and 
south sides of the city as well as the east and west, were filled up, or 
covered over ; and houses were built upon the site of them. For 
some account of the present remains of the walls, see Memorials of 
St. Peter's Parish, p. 15 ; New College, p. 30 ; St. Michael's Parish, 
p. 9 ; St. Ebbe's Parish, p. 14 ; also the Memorials of Oxford Castle. 

c This is pronounced by Leland and Stukeley to be the most an- 
cient quarter of the city. 


over the greater part of the kingdom to acquire informa- 
tion, and had the sanction of royal authority to examine 
all the muniments of England and Wales ; and, though 
he exercised very little judgment in selection, he some- 
times transcribed from documents which in all proba- 
bility no longer exist. He has been followed by Twyne 
and others ; who, in the celebrated controversy respect- 
ing the relative antiquity of Oxford and Cambridge, have 
traced the existence of the former to about 1000 years 
before the Christian aera : in support of which they cite 
many authorities. But, not to go so far back, there is 
no doubt of the comparative importance of the place 
from the earliest period. Appian, in his Catalogue of 
British Cities, among those of eminence mentions Can- 
terbury, Oxford, and London. Cyprian includes it in 
his Index of ancient British Cities. In the eighth, ninth, 
and tenth centuries, its history becomes matter of ordi- 
nary record. The foundation of St. Frideswide's priory 
was in the early part of the first of these d ; and in the 
following centuries we find Saxon money coined here 
from a royal mint 6 , and other proofs of municipal im- 
portance. In the year 912, on the death of iEthered the 
last earl of Mercia, we are told by the Saxon annalist, 
that king Edward the elder ' took to London and to Ox- 
ford and to all the lands that thereunto belongedV His 
son died in Oxford, and he himself at no great distance 

d See our Memorials of Christ Church. 

e See account of Oxford mint in Memorials of New Inn Hall. 

f From this period, rather than from the unsettled and nominal 
monarchy of Egbert, the Saxons and the Angles became one nation ; 
but the Angles being the most numerous gave their name to Eng- 
land, and the language spoken by the descendants of both has been 
called English ; whence the Saxon has been considered as an obsolete 
and unknown tongue, and scarcely recognised by the English them- 
selves, though it is the principal element of their daily conversation. 



from it, in the year 925. The Danes, early in the next 
century, having failed in their attempts to reduce Lon- 
don, proceeded directly through the Chiltern district to 
this city. In the year 1013 the corporation f of Ox- 
ford is mentioned in the same page with that of London. 
In 1015 an Anglo-Saxon parliament, or witenagemote, 
was holden here ; and within three years the Danes and 
English were reconciled here, and agreed mutually to 
abide by king Edgar's laws. Here also the same witena- 
gemote, or great council of the nation, met again on the 
death of Canute the Great, and chose Harold I. to be 
king ; who died here five years after. The resistance 
which William the Norman experienced will account for 
the absence of his patronage of the place ; but his son 
Henry I. is well known to have been much here and at 
his park at Woodstock. He demised to the corporation 
the fee-farm of the city for the consideration of 63/. 5d. 
per annum ; which continued till the reign of George III. 
when it was redeemed for ever by the payment of a sti- 
pulated sum to the king's exchequer. Richard I. was born 
in the royal palace of Beaumont ; of which some traces 
remained till the present street of that name was built g . 
In the year 1137, king Stephen held his first ' gather- 
ing' at Oxford on his return from Normandy, after 
taking possession of his foreign and domestic treasures ; 
and how much this city was involved in the long and 

f ' Seo Buphpapu' is the expression used in both instances, with a 
singular verb ; which with the prepositive article of the feminine 
gender is equivalent to the word ' corporation' or ' township.' The 
burgesses, or inhabitants, are Buphpape, Buphpapar, or Buph]?apan, 
in the plural number; a distinction overlooked by Lye, Manning, 
and others. The Cotton MS., which is Norman Saxon, joins Oxford 
and Winchester thus : ' Ba ]>sl Buph abujan -] girloban : both those 
boroughs surrendered, and gave hostages.' 

* See wood-engraving in the Memorials of Magdalene Parish. 


severe contests between his party and that of the empress 
Matilda, is sufficiently known to all. King Henry II. 
was no sooner crowned and consecrated in London than 
he commenced a royal progress from Oxford to Peter- 
borough, Ramsey, Thorney, &c. ; and this is the last 
event recorded in the Saxon Chronicle, which ends in 
the year 1154. But a singularly curious document in 
the same language, lately discovered in the archives of 
the city by Mr. Joy, throws some light on the transac- 
tions which took place here in the memorable contest 
between king Henry III. and his rebellious barons. It 
will be remembered, that a meeting was agreed to be 
holden in Oxford ; and that the twelve persons chosen 
on either side should there settle the affairs of the realm. 
The king therefore issued a public writ or proclamation, 
addressed to his loyal subjects in every county, com- 
manding them to abide by the decisions of this newly 
appointed council of the nation. These decisions were 
called afterwards the ' Provisions of Oxford.' Such 
a document in the vernacular tongue, on such an occasion, 
must be considered, independently of its historical and 
local interest, as a great literary curiosity. We have there- 
fore given it entire, with a modern version annexed. 




Penn purh Gobes fultume kinj on Enjlene loanbe. Lhoauerb on 
Yrloanbe. Duk on Normanb'. on Aquitain'. anb eorl on Aniow. senb 
jretinje to alle his holbe llerbe anb lleawebe on Oxeneforbeschir. pet 
witen ge wel alle pet we willen anb unnen pet pet vre rebesmen alle 
oper pe raoare bel of heom pet beon ichosen purj us anb purj pet 
loanbesfolk on vre kunenche habben ibon anb schullen bon in pe worp- 
nesse of 50b anb on vre treowpe. for pe freme of pe loanb. purg pe 
besijte of pan toforenseibe rebesmen beo stebefest anb lestinbe in alle 
pinge abuten enbe. Anb we hoaten alle vre treowe on pe treowpe pet 
heo vs ojen. pet heo stebefesteliche healben anb swenen to healben 
anb to werien po setnesses pet beon makebe anb beon to maken purg 
pan toforenseibe rebesmen oper purg pe moare bel of heom alswo alse 
hit is toforen lseibe. Anb pet aehc oper helpe pet for to bon bi pat 
llche oap agenes alle men njt for to bon anb to fongen. Anb noane 
ne nime of loanb ne of egte. Wherpurg pis besijte mugte beon let 
oper lwerseb on onie wise. Anb gif oni oper onie cumen her ongenes 
we willen anb hoaten pet alle vre treowpe heom healben beabhche 
fean. Anb for pet we willen pet pis beo stebfest anb lestinbe. we 
senben jew pis writ open seneb wip vre seel, to healben amoanjes jew 
in horb. Witnesse vs seluen set Lunben'pene egtetenpe bay on pe 
OOonpe of Octobr' In pe two anb fowertigpe gear of vre crunlge. A. 
Pis wes bon a&tforen vre lsworen rebesmen Boneface Archebischop 
on Kanterbur'. Walt' of Cantelow'. Bischop on Wirechest'. Sim. of 
GQuntforb eorl on Lepchestr'. Ric' of Clar' eorl on Glouchestr' anb 
on purtforb. R03' Bigob eorl on Northfolk anb OOareschal on 
Gnjleneloanb. Perres of Sauueye. Will' of Fort' eorl on Aubemarl'. 
Joh' of Pless' eorl on Warewik. Joh' GefFreessune. Perres of GOunt- 
fort. Ric' of Grey. R03' of OQortem.' James of Albithel'. anb setforen 
opre mbje. 

'Henry, through God's grace king of England, lord of Ireland, 
duke of Normandy, of Aquitaine, and earl of Anjou, sends greeting to 
all his hold, learned and lewd, (Clergy and laity,) in Oxfordshire : 
That wit ye well, all that we will and declare, that what our 
redesmkn (Councillors) all, or the more part of them, that be 
chosen through us and through the landsfolk in our kingdom, have 
done and shall do in the worthiness of God and on our truth, for 
the frame of the land, through the provision of the aforesaid redes- 
men, be steadfast and lasting in all things without end. And we 
call upon all our true men, on the truth that they owe us, that they 
steadfastly hold, and swear to hold and to maintain, the settlements 
that be made, and be to make, through the aforesaid redesmen, or 
through the more part of them, as is aforesaid. And that they each 


other help, that for to do by that same oath against all men, right for 
to do and to secure. And that none take ought of land or possessions, 
whereby this provision may be let or made worse in any wise. And if 
any person or persons come against it, we will and command that all 
our true men hold them to be deadly foes. And for that we will that 
this be steadfast and lasting, we send you this writ open, (Literas, 
patentes. Lat.) signed with our seal, to hold amongst you in hoard. 
Witness ourselves at London the eighteenth day of the month of 
October in the two and fortieth year of our crowning >J|. This was 
done before our sworn redesmen, Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury ; 
Walter of Cantelup, bishop of Worcester; Simon of Montfort, earl 
of Leicester ; Richard of Clare, earl of Gloucester and Hertford ; 
Roger Bigod, earl of Norfolk, and marshal of England ; Perres of 
Savoy ; William of Fortz, (or de Fortibus), earl of Albemarle ; John of 
Plessy, earl of Warwick ; John Jefferson (or Fitz- Geoffrey) ; Perres 
of Montfort ; Richard of Grey ; Roger Mortimer ; James of Al- 
ditheley (Audley) ; and before many others.' 

Walter de Merton was about this time acting as chan- 
cellor of England ; and there can be no doubt that his 
wisdom and prudence, during this and the following 
reign, contributed not a little to that admirable settle- 
ment of our laws and constitution, which procured for 
Edward I. the title of the British Justinian. The im- 
pulse which he gave to the academical machinery of this 
place, by the foundation of his college, and its important 
effects on the national system of education in general, 
are matters which belong rather to the province of the 
biographer, and are therefore only noticed briefly in this 
work 1 . Certain it is, that Oxford had at this period 
acquired a celebrity equalled only by that of Paris, as an 
university ; a term borrowed from the Roman law, 
and not so barbarous as some have imagined 1 ". This 

* See our account of Merton College. Something supplementary 
may perhaps be expected from the author of the excellent article on 
Walter de Merton in the ' Pietas Oxoniensis.' 

k The word ' universitas' was in common use, in its various senses, 
from the time of Cicero to the decline of the empire. Matthew 



celebrity was increased by the erection of colleges ; 
the liberal endowments of which enabled the students to 
prosecute their researches in every department of science 
and literature in that manly spirit of independence, 
which led to the most happy and important results. It 
must be acknowledged, however, that the influx of per- 
sons from all parts of the globe, combined with an im- 
perfect system of police, occasioned serious tumults during 
the 13th and 14th centuries ; the details of which are 
given at full length in Wood's Annals. Hence arose the 
necessity of strengthening and extending the authority 
of the chancellor of the university, in order to preserve 
the general discipline of the place. Charters upon char- 
ters were granted for this purpose, both to the university 
and to the city ; and several solemn compositions are ex- 
tant, by which individuals bound themselves under se- 
vere penalties to maintain the public peace. Some of 
these are still extant in the university archives, with the 
seals appendant. To add dignity to the office, whenever 
and wherever the chancellor or his commissary appeared 
in the execution and performance of his various duties, 
he was preceded from the earliest period by bedels 1 , who 

Paris styles Oxford an University. There is no reason therefore for 
the modern substitution of 'academia;' which is less comprehensive 
and appropriate, as applied to a public body incorporated by law. It 
is no valid objection, that the same expression is applied to other 
communities; as in the 13th century, ' universitas civium Oxonien- 
sium,' &c. occurs in public instruments ; for the citizens of Oxford 
were a chartered body from the beginning-, as well as the chancellor, 
masters, and scholars of the university, properly so called. For the 
minute and legal distinctions between the terms, Academy, Univer- 
sity, Hall, College, Society, Fraternity, &c. see Ayliffe's introductory 
remarks in the beginning of his first and second volume : which are 
well worthy of the attention of modern lawyers and legislators. 

1 These are six in number ; three esquire bedels, and three yeomen. 


carried before them those, staves, maces, or symbols of 
authority, which have been renewed from time to time ; 



and of which, as at present used, we have engraved some 
specimens 111 . Representations of those belonging to the 
authorities of the city, which are very handsome, are also 
annexed ; p. 16. 

Jurisdiction. — Concerning the municipal jurisdic- 
tion of Oxford during the Roman or British times, we 
can now only form conjectures. Whatever may be the 
supposed antiquity of its foundation, the Saxon invaders 
of the southern districts knew it only as a * ford of Oxen.' 
The Angles, however, who settled in the middle district, 
north of the Thames, and founded the kingdom of Mer- 
cia, afterwards reduced to an earldom, seem to have occu- 
pied it as an important station : forming an intermediate 
point of strength between London and Chester. In the 
Saxon Chronicle we read of iEthelfleda, ' Lady of Mercia/ 
the ' undegenerate daughter of king Alfred,' as she is 
called by Mr. Whitaker, fortifying and repairing several 
towns along this line ; and, as Oxford is not mentioned, 
there is a fair presumption that it was fortified and en- 
compassed with walls long before. Didan, the father of 
St. Frideswide, though not a king, nor his daughter a 
princess, as might be concluded from the pages of Wil- 
liam of Malmsbury, was probably a viceroy, ' subregu- 
lus,' or earl ; that is, a Saxon ' ealdorman ;' and the title 

m There is also another officer of a similar kind, called a virger, who 
carries, like the bedels, a handsome silver staff or mace before him. 
The latter officer, from the Latin virgifer, is of inferior antiquity, 
and is the subject of a distinct section in the Statutes. 

The following Latin inscriptions are legible on the maces ; Divinity, 
Ego sum Via Vita et Veritas : — Medicine and Arts, Ego sum Via 
Vita et Veritas : Columna Philosophise, Scienti^e et Mores : — 
Law, ^Equum et bonum Columns Justiti^e. The letters on the 
base are inverted ; because in the presence of the king, whenever his 
majesty visits the university, and then only, the broad or obtuse ends 
of the maces are carried upwards, for difference. Vid. Corp. Stat. 


of provost,' or ' propositus,' occurs in the year 895 in a 
charter of king Alfred. The ' bailiffs' are in ancient 
deeds generally called ' propositi ;' and as all the Saxon 
customs of the citizens, with their privileges, including 
their common pasturage of Port-meadow, are minutely 
recorded and acknowledged in the Domesday Survey, 
there is no reason to suppose, that the jurisdiction was 
altered after the conquest. It is therefore antecedent to 
the Norman period. Hence the frequent mention of a 
Portmote, a Gildhall, and a Hustingcourt ; all terms 
previously unknown to the Normans, though adopted by 
them". The jurisdiction is still substantially the same. 

Charters. — In a charter of king Henry II. refer- 
ence is made to a former one granted by Henry I., in 
which a gild of merchants, ' gilda mercatoria,' is recog- 
nised here. This charter he confirms in such a manner, 
that no person, not a member of that gild, should exer- 
cise his trade either in the city or in the suburbs. In 
the same and other subsequent charters such customs 
are confirmed to the citizens of Oxford as are clearly of 
Anglo-Saxon origin ; such as, that they should be way- 
free and toll-free, on land and on eyte, in leasow and 
meadow, ' by land and by strand,' with ' sac, soc, toll, 
team, and infangentheof To which it is added, that 
they should serve as butlers with the citizens of London 
at the royal table on festive occasions ; and in short, 
whatever customs, privileges, laws, liberties, or tenures, 
belonged to the citizens of London, the same should be 

n The word ' mayor,' which occurs very soon after the Norman 
conquest, was probably substituted for that of ' portreve.' The seal 
of the mayoralty is appended to a deed executed in 1180, 26 Hen. ij. 
Vid. Peshall, p. 340. 


enjoyed in common with them by the citizens of Oxford. 
And it is evident, from the very words of this charter, 
that these grants are only confirmatory of privileges 
long enjoyed ; for it is stated as a matter of fact, that 
these distinguished honours are conferred in common 
on the citizens of Oxford and London, because they 


To secure these distinguished honours and privileges, 
charters are extant of king John, Henry III, Edward II, 
and Edward III, with little variation ; but in the 29th 
year of the latter monarch, May 19, 1355, in conse- 
quence of a great conflict between the townsmen and 
scholars, and the prevalence of inveterate feuds between 
the university and city, the mayor and burgesses for- 
mally resigned into the king's hands all their ancient 
privileges and immunities ; which were restored soon 
after, July 26, in the same year, with the following ex- 
ceptions in favour of the university : The assize of bread, 
wine, and ale, with the correction and punishment by 
fine or otherwise of those who violate it ; the supervision 
and assay of weights and measures ; with the power of 
taking cognisance of all forestallers and regrators, and 
vendors of unwholesome provisions : the punishment of 
scholars or laymen carrying arms against the statutes of 
the university, with the forfeiture of the arms : the con- 
servation and cleansing of the streets and carriageways 
of the town ; to effect which the chancellor or his vice- 
gerent may compel the townsmen to remove all accumu- 
lation of filth and rubbish : the assessment and taxation 
of certain servants of scholars ; such as writers, lim- 
ners, &c. 

See the abstract of University and City Charters, p. 17. 


With the above-mentioned exceptions, there was now 
a complete restitution of the ancient liberties of the city 
enjoyed under former sovereigns ; which were confirmed 
by an abundance of subsequent charters as a matter of 
acknowledged justice : viz. 1 Richard 11,2 Henry IV, 
15 Henry VI, 2 Edward IV, 1 Richard III, 5 Henry 
VII, and 1 Henry VIII. But in 1532 the policy or 
tyranny of Henry VIII, in the establishment of his 
supremacy, taking occasion from the feuds still existing 
between the university and city, suggested the surrender 
of all former charters granted either to the city or to 
the university ; that new charters might be bestowed 
on both bodies by his royal clemency : which was ac- 
cordingly done. The university, however, obtained a 
more ample charter in 1543. The privileges of the 
city were again confirmed 5th Ed. VI. and 9th Eliz. 
But the charter, by which it was governed before the 
late municipal act of parliament, was that of 3 James I. 
1 605 ; a charter, granted at the request and supplication 
of the citizens themselves, with an augmentation and 
addition of certain liberties, privileges, immunities, and 
franchises ; without prejudice to those of the university, 
or of any college, hall, or other academical society p . 

All the ancient charters recognise the concurrent au- 
thority of the mayor and chancellor of the university in 
all matters of police, &c. ; but the whole of the watch 
and ward, in regard to the superintendence and punish- 
ment of its own members, belongs to the university. This 

p This is printed at length, with marginal references, in Peshall's 
History of Oxford ; but with his usual inaccuracy : for example, 
1 Sacramentum capiet,' &c. 'He shall take an oath,' he translates in 
the margin — ' Must take the sacrament.' 


being disputed in the case of Smith and Paynter, the 
two city bailiffs, in 1G09, chief-justice Flemming, with 
the concurrence of Williams and Croke, the other judges 
present, pronounced judgment in favour of the university 
according to a precedent cited in 9 Hen. VI ; Croke and 
Williams affirming, that the scholars enjoyed this privi- 
lege when they were students, and for 300 years before, 
without any opposition; and therefore they rebuked 
Paynter for his contumacy q . It is now agreed and under- 
stood, for the sake of harmony, that the burden and re- 
sponsibility of the general police should be divided be- 
tween the two bodies. Accordingly, at present, the city 
have their separate jurisdiction, act under a separate com- 
mission of the peace, and by the late municipal regula- 
tions are governed, as before, by their own magistrates 
and subordinate officers, who exercise free control over 
the citizens ; whilst the general superintendence of the 
streets and suburbs, and of all the avenues leading into 
them, is committed during the night to an effective body 
of policemen appointed by the university, and acting 
under the direction of the vice-chancellor and proctors. 
A body of policemen has been also recently established 
by the corporation of the city to act during the day. In 
short, the line of demarkation is clearly and intelligibly 
defined ; each party governs its own subjects, and knows 
its proper limits of authority. 

The population of Oxford at the time of the Domesday 
Survey, the earliest statistical account, was about 3870 ; 
allowing five persons only to each family ; the number 
of houses being 774 r . In the reign of Henry III. the 

<i Vide Ayliffe, I. 204, from Wood's Annals. 

r The principal street, called the High street, mentioned in Latin 


number of students in the university varied from 3,000 
to 30,000 ; but many of them migrated hither for a time 
from Paris and other foreign universities : and, though 
200 or 300 Halls may have been occupied at one time 
by scholars, they were subject to great fluctuations. In 
the reign of James I. the members of the university are 
stated to be 2,254. At present there are scarcely 2,000 
resident, though there are more than 5,000 whose names 
are on the books. According to the Population Abstract 
of 1831, the aggregate number of the inhabitants, com- 
prehending the university, city, and liberties thereunto 
belonging, amounted then to 22,186. The number of 
inhabited houses was 3,691. In this enumeration, every 
college and hall, however it may vary in its relative 
proportion of members, is considered as one family ; the 
domestic establishment of the Head of the House form- 
ing another. 

The population of the city and borough of Oxford, in 

1833, amounted to 20,41 1. 

The number of houses in the city and borough in the 

same year, was 3,936. 

The electors of members of parliament are, first, free- 
men of the city, residing in Oxford, or within the 
distance of 7 miles, amounting in 1836, to 1,236 : 

And, secondly, persons occupying tenements within the 
city and borough, of the annual value of 10/. and 
upwards ; who in the same year, exclusive of the 
freemen, amounted to 1,239. 

The electors of municipal officers are, burgesses occupy- 
ing premises and paying rates within the city and 
borough, who in 1836 amounted to 1,663. 

documents of the 13th century as ' altus vicus,' is about 2038 feet 
long, and 85 broad. Many of the streets were in existence previous 
to all record. An act for paving and lighting them, for a new market, 
and the general improvement of the city, was obtained in 1771. This 
act was renewed, with some additional clauses, in 1836. 



TT A.EE L AM OTTf oel 



s The mace in the centre, which is carried before the mayor, is 
about five feet in height, and has the following inscription : ' This 
mace was made in the mayoralty of John Lamb, in the reign of 
Charles II.' John Lamb was mayor in 1668; so that the date is 
clearly ascertained. The present university maces, from the character 
of their workmanship, appear to be nearly of the same period. There 
is an older one still preserved ; but it is not in use. 




Abstract of Charters granted to the University. 

The following is the substance of various privileges and immunities 
of the 29th of Edw. III. granted immediately after the affray, called 
1 the Great Conflict,' on the day of St. Scholastica. 

1 In regard, that by occasion of the chancellor and mayor's joint 
keeping of the assize of bread, and ale or beer, and the townsmen keep- 
ing their advantage, things could not be well managed, we, by our 
royal charter grant for ourselves and heirs, that the chancellor of the 
university, and his successors, and their deputies, for ever have (soli et 
in solidum) the sole keeping of the assize of bread and wine, and ale or 
beer, and the fines or amerciaments of offenders, paying to him and his 

heirs 100s. yearly, 50 at Michaelmas, the other at the Passover. 

(This payment was afterwards remitted.) 

1 The chancellor shall have (solus et in solidum) the keeping of the assize, 
50 c 


and assay of weights and measures in the town of Oxford, and the 
suburbs thereof, and the punishment of offenders concerning the same, 
so as to burn or destroy false measures ; but the forfeitures of the same 
shall be reserved to the mayor and bailiff's, towards the fee-farm rent of 

the town a . Likewise the chancellor, and his successors, shall have 

the sole power to inquire into, take cognisance of, and punish fore- 
stalled, regrators, and venders of unwholesome, putrid, vitious victuals, 
or other incompetent things, provided that the forfeitures and amercia- 
ments be paid to the hospital of St. John, without East-gate b , as has 
been accustomed. 

1 The mayor, bailiffs, and aldermen, and others of the said town, 
shall not interfere or intermeddle with the premisses ; and we will and 
command, that in all and every of these they carry themselves attendant 
and obedient to the chancellor. 

' Item, For the terror of the bad, the security and comfort of the 
good, we ordain, for us and our heirs, that the chancellor, for the time 
being, shall duly punish the scholars and laymen bearing arms there, 
and being offenders against the statutes of the university ; by imprison- 
ment or otherwise, and take the arms of such as are obstinate, and 
refuse chastisement or admonition, expel them from the university, and 
proceed against them with ecclesiastical censures, as hath been always 
usual in such cases. 

* Item, Since to the university a multitude of nobles, gentry, 
strangers, and others, continually flock, and cleanliness would very well 
become it ; we will, that the said town, and its suburbs, be kept clean 
from filth and dirt ; wood, trunks of trees, and other things removed, 
for a free passage ; and that the pavements of the streets be repaired 
and preserved in good order, and that the chancellor may compel the 
burgesses and others on whom it may be incumbent, who are repugnant 
to this order, by ecclesiastical censure, without applying the mulct to 
his own use ; and the prohibition of us and our heirs shall have no 
power or effect, if it acts against this proceeding. 

' Item, When the officers of the university, or their servants, are to 
be rated or taxed to pay any part or sum out of their goods in the 
town of Oxford, that the chancellor or his deputy, not the mayor nor 

a This fee-farm rent, as we have already stated, has been redeemed. 

b In quod. fasc. Brev. in Civit. Oxon. Wood 176. This hospital, 
of which there are still some remains, stood where Magdalene college 
was afterwards erected. See our Memorials of that foundation. 

c This was a tax imposed upon the scholars by the chancellor only, 
and prevailed in this king's and Henry Illd's reign. Wood, fol. 179. 


townsmen, shall for ever rate and tax the said officers and servants of 
scholars as those of their families, writers of manuscripts, printers, lim- 
ners, parchment makers, &c. as reasonably as other persons of the 
town, according to the quantity of their goods liable to be taxed ; and 
the sums to be taxed shall be levied by their officers, to be delivered by 
indenture to the mayor and bailiffs of the town ; and if the townsmen 
shall complain of such rates as unduly made by the chancellor, that 
then inquiry be made by certain officers of the king, that the defect 
being found, it may be reformed. And this we will and grant, that the 
chancellor shall plenarily and fully enjoy, according to the order afore- 

• Item, Willing to provide for the indemnity of the scholars, who, in 
the perturbation have been robbed of their goods, and possibly for fear 
of proceeding irregularly dare not bring an action for the recovery of 
such goods, we grant of our special grace, for us and our heirs, to the 
masters, scholars, &c. of the university, who have thus lost their effects, 
that they, or the chancellor and proctor in their own name, and with- 
out any molestation of us, our heirs, or ministers, may lawfully retake 
such goods from them into whose hands they are come, without the 
form of a capital prosecution of such felons. 

' Item, For the greater security and quiet of the students in the uni- 
versity, we ordain, pro perpetuo, and grant, for us and our heirs, that 
every sheriff of Oxon', at receiving his commission, shall take an oath 
to protect, according to his power, the masters and scholars from in- 
juries, and keep the peace as far as in him lies ; and that the under- 
sheriff, and other officers in the said county, presently after their taking 
upon them their offices, in the presence of some person deputed by the 
university, shall take the like oath, to which we will, the sheriff shall 
compel them. But for affixing punishments for the more secure con- 
servation of the peace of the university, and for other things, which, 
agreeably to the above submissions, in order for a perpetual remem- 
brance of the premises, we propose, by God's grace, to proceed upon — 
the various and arduous task of the government hindering us at pre- 
sent, we will refer this to another time, for a special ordination. 

/ John Archbishop of York, Primate of England, our 
* Witness, ) Chancellor. 

\ William, Bishop ofWinton, our Treasurer, $c. 
' Dat. per manum nostram apud Turrim London, xxvn Jun. regni 
nostri Angl. 29, Fran. 16.' 

In the preamble to this extensive charter of privileges conferred to 
the university and taken from the city, he premises, ' That amongst 

c 2 


other things by which the condition of kings and kingdoms is ad- 
vanced, and the profit and quiet of subjects are preserved, the chiefest 
seems to be the mutual conjunction of power and strength with wis- 
dom, which is especially derived from learning; for military power, 
unless it be regulated by wisdom, doth easily miscarry, as a ship with- 
out a rudder, exposed to storms, suddenly perishes ; and it is commonly 
observed, that where the studies of liberal sciences have most prevailed, 
there the temporal welfare of the kingdom hath likewise nourished : 
and whereas the university of Oxford, as the fountain and chief stream 
of those studies, hath in a most eminent manner dispersed the dew of 
learned knowledge throughout the kingdom of England ; and as a fruit- 
ful vine hath sent forth many useful branches into the Lord's vineyard, 
that is, most learned men, by whose abilities both the church and king- 
dom is many ways adorned and strengthened, he in consideration 
thereof ordains/ &c. 

In the year 1357 there was a difference between sir R. D'Amory, 
knt. who held the hundred of North -gate, in the suburbs of Oxford, in 
fee- farm from the king, and the chancellor, masters, and scholars of 
the university, concerning jurisdiction herein. Sir Richard claiming 
the assize of bread, wine, and beer, and the conusance of causes arising 
within the precincts of that hundred ; and the chancellor, &c. claiming 
the same jurisdiction and privilege in that hundred which they enjoyed 
in the town of Oxford, and the suburbs thereof. An agreement was 
made before the king and his council, by the mediation of John, arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, and chancellor of England, and W. Wykeham, 
bishop of Winton, lord treasurer, wherein it was yielded by sir R. 
D'Amory, for himself and his heirs, that the chancellor, &c. should 
have the entire assize and assay of bread, wine, and beer, and the profits 
incident thereunto within that hundred, and the decision of all 
causes of contracts and pleas touching things moveable, and of injuries 
and trespasses where one of the parties shall be a scholar or a privi- 
leged person, excepting pleas relating to murder, maim, or to free- 
hold; and the like of disturbers of the peace, and offenders against 
the statutes and liberties of the university; and of all forestallers, 
regrators, &c. and in effect of all other matters to which the privi- 
leges of the university did then extend ; and the said sir R. D'Amory 
did then promise for himself and his heirs, that they should not in- 
termeddle in any of these things, saving to himself and his heirs all 
other rights belonging to that hundred, which agreement was accepted 
and confirmed by the king, for himself, his heirs, and successors. 
— In cuj. SfC Test. Meipso apud Westm. xvi Julii, an. regn. Angl. 30, 
Franpia 17. 


The following agreement or composition between the university and 
city about this time, is extant in the French of that period d . 

R. omnib. &c. Inspeximus alteram partem cujasd. indenture inter 

Cancellar. et Univ. Oxon. et Major, et Community Oxon. facta et com- 
muni sigillo dicta villce signatai in h&c verba : ' Ceste endenture fait a 
Oxenford le quatorzisme jour de Maii, Tan du regne le roi Edward 
tierz, aprez la conquest d'Engleterre trentisme primer et de France dis 
et septisme, entre le chaunceller et la universitee d' Oxenford d' une 
part, et le Maire et communaltee de mesme la ville d' altre part, 
tesmoigne que accorde est entre les parties avantdites, que la dite com- 
munaltee d'Oxenford tendra perpetuelmeux une misse d' anniversarie 
le jour de Seinte Scolasee la virgine, en la Eglise de Nostre Dame, 
pur les almes des clercs, et altres occis en la confluct que nagdairs 
estroix entre les clercs et lais de la dite communaltee, a la quele misse 
d'anniversarie serront en propres persones, et ofFront en noun de la 
dite communaltee d'Oxenford, le maire que pur le temps serra, les 
bailliffs, les aldermans, et tout iceaux que furunt jurez a dite univ. 
mesme 1' an de la dite ville, et de les suburbes auxibien del suburbe 
dehors la port de Northt. come de altres suburbes, si noun ascun deaux 
eient congie del chaunceller que per le temps sera, on de son commis- 
sar, de soi absentir per resonable cause et accept, a dite chaunceller ou 
de son commissar, et en cas que ascuns ensi soi absentent, facent altres 
honestes de la dite ville ou suburbes venir en lour lieux, al acceptation 
del dit chaunceller ou de son commissar que pur le temps serra, ensi 
que seisaunt et deux de la dite communaltee, de queaux le dit chauncel- 
ler ou son commissar soi agree, soient presentz a la dite misse del 
comencement tanque au fyn, et offre chescun un dener si nul deaux 
neit congie del chaunceller ou de son commissar, d' offrer son dener et 
d'aler en tour ses busoignes necessaries adonque affaires. Et si nul de 
la dite communaltee juree a la universetee eel an soi absente devenir a 
la dite misse et d' offrer come avant est dit saunz resonable encheson 
et congie del dit chaunceller au son commissar, que pur le temps serra, 
et altre en son lieu accept a dit chaunceller au son commissare, ne soit 
a la dite misse et offre pur lui come avant est dit ; soit il puny pur le 
chaunceller ou son commissar duement come le dit chaunceller ou son 
commissar lui plerra punyr. estre ceo le chaunceller et la univ. avantditz 
ne soi assentent mie que Johan. de Bereford, Rob. de Lardyner, Matheu 
Kyng, Rob. le Goldsmith, et Johan. de Godestre soient contenuz ne 
compriz en ceste accorde. En tesmoignance des quel choses le seals de 

d As this was an agreement between the parties concerned, it has 
been recently abolished ; but the original document is worth preserving. 

c 3 


la universitee d'Oxenford d'une part, et de la communaltee de mesme 
la ville d'altre part, a ceste endenture entrechaungeablement sont mys, 
Don a Oxenford jour et an. avant ditz.' 

In the year 1407 were issued the following letters patent of king 
Henry IV : ■ Whereas the chancellor and scholars of the university of 
Oxford enjoying and using many franchises of his own and his prede- 
cessors' grants, have been from time to time, indicted of divers trea- 
sons, felonies, and mayhems, and thereupon arrested, imprisoned, and 
condemned more than in former times had been accustomed ; out of 
his special grace and favour, he grants to the said chancellor, his com- 
missary, deputy, every master, scholar, or other officer or servant, or 
any other person under the privilege of the said university, chat shall 
be indicted or prosecuted before any justices whatsoever, &c. sheriff, 
mayor, and bailiffs of Oxon', by the townsmen, or any other of the four 
hundreds adjoining, of any treasons, felonies, or mayhems, within the 
counties of Oxon', or Berks, committed or to be committed, and shall 
thereupon be arrested or imprisoned, if the chancellor, or his com- 
missary, will challenge or claim him, he in whose custody he is im- 
prisoned, shall forthwith, under the penalty of 200/. deliver his body to 
the steward of the chancellor, or his deputy or vice-chancellor, and to 
be allowed by the king's chancellor under the broad seal, if it shall be 
held fit and sufficient, together with the indictment, and other proceed- 
ings, and that the person indicted, arrested, or imprisoned, shall stand 
to the trial of the chancellor, &c. either at the king's suit, or the suit 
of any other person, and that the chancellor shall proceed against him 
by writs directed to the sheriff to return eighteen of the town to appear 
before him at Guild-hall, at a certain time, and shall likewise direct 
writs to the bedels of the university to summon eighteen privileged 
men to the same place and time, and a jury of a moiety of each sort 
being impannelled, shall proceed according to the laws and customs of 
the realm, and the liberties and customs of the university. — His testib. 
ven.patrib. T. A. B. Cant. P. Line. $c. — Bat. per manum nostram apud 
Westm. 11 die Jun. anno rec/ni nostri 8. 

The charters granted at different times to the university were all 
ratified and confirmed in parliament by the following important act 
13 Eliz. 1571, for incorporation of the two universities 6 . 

' Exhibita est regie Majestati in Parliamento Billa quedam formam 
Actus in se continens.' 

' jF<D& tfje greate love and favour that the queenes most excellent 

c We reprint this from the copy annexed to the charters collected by 
judge Blackstonc, and printed at the Clarendon press in 1770. 


majestie beareth towards her highnes universities of Oxforde and Cam- 
bridge, and for the greate zeale and care that the lords and commons 
of this present parliament have for the maintenaunce of good and 
godlie literature, and the vertuous education of youth within either of 
the same universities, And to the intent that the auncient privileges, 
liberties and franchesies of either of the said universities heretofore 
granted ratified and confirmed by the queenes highnes and her most 
noble progenitors maie be had in great estimation, and be of great 
force and strength for the better encrease of learning, and the further 
suppressing of vice. t$e it therefore enacted by the authoritie of this 
present parliament, that the right honourable Robert earle of Leicester 
now chancellor of the said universitie of Oxforde and his successors for 
ever and the maisters and scholers of the same universitie of Oxforde 
for the tyme being shall be incorporate and have a perpetual succession 
in facte, deede, and name, by the name of the chancellor, maisters, and 
scholers of the universitie of Oxforde, And that the same chancellor, 
maisters and scholars of the same universitie of Oxforde for the tyme 
being from henceforth by the name of chancellor, maisters and scholers 
of the universitie of Oxforde, and by none other name or names shall 
be called and named for evermore. &ttt) tl)at they shall have a com- 
mon seale to serve for their necessarie causes towching and concerning 
the said chancellor, maisters, and scholers of the saide universitie of 
Oxforde and their successors. ®ntl further that as well the chancellor, 
maisters and scholers of the said universitie of Oxforde and their suc- 
cessors by the name of chancellor maisters and scholers of the univer- 
sitie of Oxforde, as the chancellor, maisters and scholers of the saide 
universitie of Cambridge, and their successors, by the name of chan- 
cellor maisters and scholers of the universitie of Cambridge, may se- 
verallie ympleade and be ympleaded, and sewe and be sewed for all 
manner of causes, quarrells, actions realle personalle and mixte of what- 
soever kinde, qualitie or nature theie be. &nt» shall and maie chalenge 
and demaunde all manner of liberties and franchesies, and also answer 
and defende themselves under and by the name aforesaid in the same 
causes quarrells and actions for everie thing and things whatsoever for 
the proffit and righte of either of the foresaide universities to be done 
before any manner of judge either spirituall or temporall in any courtes 
and places within the queenes highnes dominions whatsoever theie be. 
&ntJ ht it further enacted by the auctoritie aforesaide that the lettres 
patents of the queenes highnes most noble father king Henry the 
eighte made and graunted to the chancellor and scholers of the saide 
universitie of Oxforde bearing date the first daie of Aprill in the xiiii th 
yeare of his raigne, &ntJ the lettres patents of the queenes majestie 

c 4 


that novve is, made and granted unto the chancellor maisters and 
scholers of the universitie of Cambridge bearing date the six and twen- 
tith daie of Aprill in the third yere of her hignes most gracious raigne, 
&nt) also all other lettres patents by anie of the progenitors or prede- 
cessors of our saide soveraigne ladie made to either of the saide cor- 
porated bodies severally or to anie of their predecessors of either of the 
saide universities, by whatsoever name or names the said chancellor 
maisters and scholers of either of the said universities in any of the said 
lettres patents have bin heeretofore named, shall from henceforth bee 
good, effectuall, and availeable in the lawe, to all intents, constructions, 
and purposes to the foresaide nowe chancellor, maisters and scolers of 
either of the saide universities and to their successors for evermore, 
after and according to the forme, wordes, sentences, and true meaning 
of everie of the same lettres patents, as amplie, fullie and largelie as yf 
the same lettres patents were recited verbatim in this present acte of 
parliament, any thing to the contrarie in any wise notwithstanding. 
&nU furthermore be it enacted by the authoritie aforesaid that the 
chancellor, maisters and scholers of either of the saide universities seve- 
rable and their successors for ever by the same name of chancellor, 
maisters and scholers of either of the saide universities of Oxforde and 
Cambridge, shall and maie severallie have, holde, possesse, enjoye, and 
use, to them and to their successors for evermore, all manner of man- 
nors, lordshipps, rectories, parsonages, landes, tenements, rents, ser- 
vices, annuities, advowsons of churches, possessions, pensions, portions 
and hereditaments, And all manner of liberties, franchesies, immuny- 
ties, quietances and privileges, view of francke pledge, law daies, and 
other things whatsoever they be, the which either of the said corporated 
bodies of either of the said universities had, helde, occupied, or injoyed, 
or of right ought to have had, used, occupied and enjoyed at any tyme 
or tymes before the making of this acte of parliament according to the 
true intent and meaning as well of the said letters patents made by the 
said noble prince king Henry the Eighte made and granted to the chan- 
cellor and schollers of the universitie of Oxforde bearing date as is 
aforesaid, as of the letters patents of the queenes majestie made and 
granted unto the chancellor maisters and scholers of the universitie of 
Cambridge bearing date as aforesaid, And as according to the true in- 
tent and meaning of all other the foresaid letters patents whatsoever, 
any statute or other thing or things whatsoever heretofore made or 
done to the contrarie in any manner of wise notwithstanding. &rtt) be 
tt further enacted by the authoritie aforesaid that all manner of instru- 
ments, indentures, obligations, writings obligatorie, and recognizances 
made or knowledged by any person or persons or bodie corporate, to 

^ 1 




either of the said corporated bodies of either of the said universities by 
what name or names soever the said chancellor, maisters and scolers of 
either of the said universities have bin heretofore called in any of the 
said instruments, indentures, obligations, writings obligatorie or recog- 
nizances shall be from henceforth availeable, stand and continewe of 
good, perfect and full force and strength, to the nowe chancellor, 
maisters and schollers of either of the said universities and to their 
successors, to all intents, constructions and purposes, altho they or their 
predecessors or any of them in any of the said instruments, indentures, 
obligations, writings obligatorie or recognizances be named by anie 
name contrarie or diverse to the name of the nowe chancellor, maisters 
and scholers of either of the said universities. •Unt) be it also enacted 
by the authoritie aforesaid that as well the said letters patents of the 
queenes highnes said father king Henry the eighte bearing date as ys 
before expressed made and granted to the said corporated bodie of the 
saide universitie of Oxforde, as the letters patents of the queenes ma- 
jestie aforesaide granted to the chancellor, maisters and scholers of the 
universitie of Cambridge bearing date as aforesaid, And all other letters 
patents by any of the progenitors or predecessors of her highnes, and 
all manner of liberties, franchesies, immunities, quietances and privi- 
leges, leetes, law daies and other things whatsoever therein expressed, 
geven or granted to the said chancellor, maisters and schollers of either 
of the saide universities, or to any of their predecessors of either of the 
said universities, by whatsoever name the said chancellor, maisters and 
schollers of either of the said universities in any of the said letters 
patents be named, be and by vertue of this present acte shall be from 
henceforth ratified, stablished and confirmed unto the said chancellor, 
maisters and scollers of either of the said universities and to their suc- 
cessors for ever, Any statute, lawe, usage, custome, construction or 
other thing to the contrarie in anie wise notwithstanding, j&abtnct, to 
all and everie person and persons and bodies politicke and corporate 
their heires and successors and the heires and successors of everie of 
them, other then to the queenes majestie her heires and successors, all 
such rights, titles, interests, entries, leases, conditions, charges and de- 
maunds, which they and everie of them had, might or should have had 
of in or to anie the mannors, lordshipps, rectories, parsonages, lands, 
tenements, rents, services, annuyties, advowsons of churches, pentions, 
portions, hereditaments and all other things in the said letters patents 
or in any of them mentioned or comprised, by reason of any right title 
charge interest or condition to them or any of them or to the aunces- 
tors or predecessors of them or any of them devolute or growen before 
the severall dates of the same letters patents, or by reason of any gifte, 


graunt, demise or other acte or actes at any tyme made or done be- 
tween the said chancellor maisters and scollers of either of the said 
universities of Cambridge and Oxford or any of them and others, by 
what name or names soever the same were made or done in like man- 
ner and forme as they and everie of them had or might have had the 
same before the making of this acte, Any thing &c. 3J)vobiftcD allwaies 
and be it enacted by the authoritie aforesaid that this acte or any thing 
therein contained shall not extend to the prejudice or hurte of the 
liberties and privileges of righte belonging to the mayors bailiffes and 
burgesses of the towne of Cambridge and citie of Oxford. But that 
they the said mayors bailifes and burgesses and everie of them, and 
their successors shall be and continew free in such sorte and degree, 
and enjoye such liberties freedomes and ymmunities as they or any of 
them lawfullie maie or might have done before the making of this pre- 
sent acte. Any thing contayned in this present acte to the contrarie 

* Cui quidem bille perlecte et ad plenum intellecte per dictum Dominam 
Reginam ex anctoritate parliamenti sic responsum est LA R OIGNE LE 
VEULT septimo die Junii Anno regni decimo tertio. 1571.' 

The following dates of parliaments or national councils holden in 
Oxford are taken chiefly from Ayliffe : viz. in 1002, 1018, 1036, 1088, 
1136, 1160, 1166, 1177, 1185. At various times in the reigns of 
Ric. I. Joh. Hen. iij. 1222,1227,1230, 1233, 1241, 1247, 1250, 1257, 
1258, 1261, 1264, 1271, 1290, 1330, 1382, 1383, 1395, 1625, 1644, 
1665, 1680. 

The law terms were also kept here on several occasions; as in 1247, 
1388, 1393, 1644, 1665. In the two latter instances the reason is 
given by Ayliffe : that is, because the king's headquarters were here in 
1644 ; and the plague was raging in London in 1665. 

The total number of masters and scholars in 1209, was . . . 3,000. 

Increased in the reign of Hen. hi, A. D. 1231, to 30,000. 

Reduced from various causes about A.D. 1263, to 15,000. 

Reduced to about J by the plague, A.D. 1350, viz 3,750. 

On the return of the students after the plague, 1 360, 6,000. 

According to the census in the Long Vacation of 1612, . . . 2,920. 

Resident population of Colleges and Halls according to the 

returns of 1831, exclusive of those in lodgingsP 1,634. 

Total of members on the books Jan. 1837 5,229. 

p See the note signed J. R. (John Rickman) appended to the Enu- 
meration Abstract of 1831, ordered by the House of Commons to be 
printed 2 April 1833. 



For the following analysis of the great charter of 1G35, 11 Car. I. 
commonly called the Caroline charter, we are indebted to the industry 
of Judge Blackstone, who drew it up 28 Jan. 1758. It is preserved in 
the Tower of the Schools. N. E. P. CC. 28.— NB. The letter (c) denotes 
a confirmation, (r) a recital, and (<?) an enlargement or explanation of 
the charter or instrument next immediately following. 

The charter of Westminster, 3 Mar. 11 Car. I. r. c. e. 
Westminster, 2 Jan. 9 Eliz. r. c. 
r Westminster, 18 Oct. 2 and 3 Ph. and M. r. c. 
Westminster, 7 Jun. 1 Ed. VI. r. c. 

Westminster, 10 Oct. 2 Hen. VIII. r. c. 
Westminster, 1 Mar. 2 Hen. VII. r. c. 
Westminster, 3 Jul. 1 Ed. IV. r. c. 

/~ Westminster, 20 Jul. 2 Ric. II. (as recited afterwards.) 
Westminster, 2 Jun. 7 Hen. VI. r. c. 
Westminster, 7 Dec. 1 Hen. V. r. c. 
Westminster, 20 Nov. 1 Hen. IV. r. c. 
f Westminster, 20 Jul. 2 Ric. II. r. c. 

/'Westminster, 20 Nov. 30 Ed. III. r. c. 
r Waltham, 12 Apr. 10 Ed. III. r. c. e. 
Thunderley, 20 May, 8 Ed. II. r. c. 
^Reding, 10 May, 28 Hen. III. 

Woodstock, 10 Feb. 40 Hen. III. 
J Westminster, 6 Feb. 46 Hen. III. r. c. 
Woodstock, 18 Jun. 39 Hen. III. 
Westminster, 2 Feb. 49 Hen. I IT. 
Lwoodstock, 21 Jun. 52 Hen. III. r. c. 
Woodstock, 29 May, 32 Hen. III. 

-! «! 

Enrolled 33 Hen. III. 

Westminster, 11 Mar. 8 Ed. II. r. c. ) 

Decision in pari, post pasch. 18 Ed. I. ) 
^London ap. turr. 27 Jun. 29 Ed. III. 
Westminster, 16 Jul. 30 Ed. III. r. c. 

Tuesday after 8 Jul. 30 Ed 
Westminster, 10 Jan. 32 Ed. III. 
^Westminster, 15 Jul. 14 Ric. II. 
Westminster, 13 May, 2 Hen. IV. 
Westminster, 2 Jun. 7 Hen. IV. 
Westminster, 25 Feb. 37 Hen. VI. 
^Westminster, 1 Apr. 14 Hen. VIII. 

West. \ 

. in. y 




Abstract of Charters granted to the City of Oxford. 

Charter of Henry II, dated from Canterbury : — 

' Henry king of England, duke of Normandy, &c. to his arch- 
bishops, bishops, abbots, earls, &c. and to his faithful people of 
France, England, and Normandy, greeting. Know ye that I have 
granted and confirmed to my citizens of Oxford all their liberties 
and customs, and laws, and exemptions, which they had in the time 
of king Henry my grandfather ; particularly their merchant-guild, 
with all their liberties and customs in lands and islands, pastures, 
and other appurtenances. So that any one who is not of that guild 
shall not make any merchandise in the city, or its suburb, unless so 
as was accustomed in the time of king Henry my grandfather. More- 
over, I have granted and confirmed to them that they shall be exempt 
from toll, and passage, and all customs, through the whole of England 
and Normandy, by land and by water, and by the seashore, bilande, 
and bistrande. And they shall have all their other customs and 
liberties and laws which they possess, in common with my citizens 


of London, and that at my feast they shall serve with them as my 
butlers, and shall carry on their merchandise in common with them, 
within London and without, and in all other places. And should 
there be any doubt, or contention, respecting any judgment which 
they ought to make, let them send a deputation to London concern- 
ing it, and what the citizens of London shall adjudge in such case 
shall be deemed right and authentic. And they shall not plead with- 
out the city of Oxford respecting any matter with which they may be 
challenged, but of whatever matter they may be put in plea they 
shall deraign themselves according to the laws and customs of the 
city of London, and not otherwise ; because they and the citizens of 
London are of one and the same custom, law, and liberty. Where- 
fore, I will, and strictly command that they have and hold their 
aforesaid liberties, laws, and customs, and tenures, as well and peace- 
ably, freely and quietly, fully and honourably, with sok and sac**, 
and toll and team, and infangenetheof r , and all other liberties and 
customs and exemptions, as ever they enjoyed them in the time of 
king Henry my grandfather, and in like manner as my citizens of 
London hold them.' 

Charter of 1st of king John, dated from Westminster, 14th June, 
1199. 'John, by the grace of God, king of England, lord of Ireland, 
duke of Normandy and Acquitain, and earl of Anjou, to his arch- 
bishops, bishops, &c. sheriffs, provosts, and to all his bailiffs and faith- 
ful subjects greeting. Know ye that we have granted, and by the 
present charter have confirmed to the burgesses of Oxford, the town 
of Oxford, to be held of us and of our heirs as a perpetual farm, at 
the highest farm-rent which they were ever accustomed to pay in the 
time of king Henry our father, or of king Richard our brother : for 
which farm they shall account in that town to our sheriff of Oxford, 
for our exchequer, at two periods, viz. one half at Easter, the other 
half at the feast of St. Michael. Wherefore we will and do strictly 
enjoin that the burgesses aforesaid shall have and hold the said town 
with all its appurtenances and liberties, and free customs, in lands, 
waters, fisheries, mills, lakes, meadows 8 , and pastures, and in all 
other things and places appertaining to the farm of that town.' 

This charter is still preserved in a perfect state with the other 
muniments of the city. 

<J The power of holding a court, to hear pleas, and impose fines 
and penalties on transgressors. 

r Power to try any thief taken within their jurisdiction. 

s This includes Port Meadow, Cripley, &c. ; also the city fisheries. 


All the privileges, &c. beforementioned have been confirmed by 
nearly all the sovereigns from Edward III. to Charles II. Previ- 
ously to the reign of Henry III, the city was governed by a mayor 
and two bailiffs ; that king in the 32nd year of his reign, added two 
aldermen. In his 39th year, he by his charter ordained, That for the 
sake of the peace, quiet, and good government of the scholars of the 
university of Oxford, there shall be four aldermen in Oxford, and 
that eight respectable burgesses shall be associated with them, to be 
assistants and counsellors to our mayors and bailiffs, in keeping of our 
peace, in holding the assize of the said town, and in inquiring after 
malefactors and disturbers of our peace, wanderers by night, and re- 
ceivers of thieves and malefactors. 

Charter of 41 Henry III. 1257. 'Know ye, that we have granted 
and confirmed to our burgesses of Oxford, that they and their heirs 
for ever shall have the return of all our writs of summons to our 
exchequer, and of all our other writs touching the town of Oxford 
and its liberties : so that no sheriff, or other bailiff or officer of ours 
shall hereafter interfere respecting any summons, attachment, dis- 
tress, or any other process, to be executed in the said town, unless 
through default of the said burgesses. And that they may plead in 
Oxford all pleas which belong to that town and its liberties, which 
they may, or have been accustomed to plead and conclude without our 
justices in eyre; as well those of vetitum namium t arising in the said 
town, as of other pleas to the said town and its suburbs appertaining ; 
and that they may distrain within the town and suburbs, for their 
dues, from capital debtors and their sureties. And that the said 
burgesses shall not answer concerning any plea, whether of assize re- 
lating to any tenures within that town, or trespasses committed in the 
same, before our justices, bailiffs, or officers, without the gates of Ox- 
ford, unless these trespasses concern us or our houshold.' 

The charter of 29th Edward I. recites and confirms the 13th and 
41st of Henry III. That of 1st Edward III. recites and confirms all 
the preceding charters ; and after declaring that the citizens of Ox- 
ford shall have the same liberties and customs as those of London, it 
proceeds to specify those liberties and rights. He especially declares 
that all pleas concerning any lands or tenements which are in the 
town or its liberties ; or concerning trespasses, contracts, or cove- 
nants, made therein, or any other matter whatever originating there, 
shall be pleaded and determined before the mayor and bailiffs of that 
town for the time being, and not by others within the said town. 

1 The * withernam' of the Saxons latinized. 


That the burgesses whilst they remain in the town shall not be put 
with foreign men on assizes, or juries, before the king's justices ; 
neither shall foreigners be put on their juries. That patent writs of 
right shall be issued to the said mayor and bailiffs in like manner as 
to the mayor and sheriffs of London. That if the king, or the barons 
of his exchequer, should not be in London when the mayor of Oxford 
is elected, the said burgesses shall present him to the constable of the 
Tower of London. That the hustings' court shall only be held once 
in a week in Oxford ; that the aldermen of the town may hold a 
view of frank-pledge twice in the year in their respective wards, and 
shall do all those things which belong to that view, and to the keep- 
ing of the peace ; so, however, that the liberties and privileges granted 
to the chancellor, master, and scholars of the university, may suffer 
no prejudice by reason of this grant. 

The charter of 3rd of James I. was till September 1835 the 
governing charter of the city. It differs from all former ones, in that 
it gives very minute directions relative to the officers of the city ; 
specifying their number and titles; the mode of their election, the 
time and locality in which it shall take place, &c. It ordains that 
their style and title shall be that of ' the mayor, bailiffs, and com- 
monalty of the city of Oxford ;' and that there shall ever be in the 
said city a mayor, 2 bailiffs, 4 aldermen, 8 assistants, and 24 members 
of the common council, conferring on these, when assembled, the 
power to enact such laws and ordinances, in writing, as may to them 
appear to be necessary for the good government of the corporate body, 
and of all the other inhabitants of the city and suburbs ; and for the 
letting and leasing of all lands, tenements, and hereditaments vested 
in the mayor, bailiffs, and commonalty, and their successors : and 
grants that when they have made these laws, they shall have authority 
to inflict such punishments as they may deem meet, in order to enforce 
the observance of them, whether by imprisonment, fines, or amercia- 
ments, visited on delinquents offending against the ordinances afore- 
said : and that they shall levy and keep the said fines and amercia- 
ments to their own use, and that of their successors, without any in- 
terruption from the king or his successors, or any of their officers, or 
without rendering any account thereof to any of the said officers ; so 
that such laws and punishments be reasonable, and not repugnant or 
contrary to the laws, statutes, and customs of England. The direc- 
tions for the election of the officers before mentioned, and of the 
high-steward, recorder, town-clerk, sergeants at mace, chamberlains, 
and constables, occupy the greater portion of the charter. It grants 
that they shall have a coroner, escheator, a court of record, cognizance 


of pleas, the goods and chattels of felons and fugitives, deodands, 
waifs, strays, markets, fairs, exemption from toll, fines, perquisites of 
courts, a gaol, jurisdiction, customs, free usages, messuages, mills, 
waters, fisheries, lands, tenements, and all the hereditaments whatso- 
ever, which they or their predecessors have ever had, used, or enjoyed, 
through the grants of the king's predecessors, or by legal prescription, 
use, custom, or any other lawful means, right, or title. To be held 
and enjoyed by them for ever ; subject however to such annual pay- 
ment to be made to the king, as had hitherto been paid to former 
monarchs. It concludes with an express proviso, that nothing in the 
grant contained shall be adjudged to extend in any way to the loss or 
prejudice of the chancellor, masters, and scholars of the university, or 
to the abridgement of any liberties, privileges, or hereditaments of the 
said chancellor, &c. or of any of the colleges, halls, or inns, in which 
the liberal arts and sciences are professed and taught. 

The charter of the 16th of king Charles II. commences with a 
statement of the motives which induced the grant. ' Know ye, that 
we, for and in consideration of the true, faithful, and laudable services 
so abundantly rendered by the citizens of our city of Oxford, to us, 
and to our beloved father of blessed memory ; and for divers other 
good causes and considerations at this time especially moving us ; out 
of our particular favour, and from our certain knowledge, and un- 
biassed will, do give, grant, confirm, and ratify to the mayor, &c. all 
and every the messuages, mills, lands, tenements, tithes, meadows, 
common pastures, &c. granted to them by the letters-patent of our 
royal predecessors.' Those privileges are then recited, corresponding 
with the specification in the charter of king James I ; the title and date 
of each charter being mentioned ; and all therein contained is con- 
firmed to the mayor and his successors for ever. 

By the late act 5 and 6 of William the Fourth all laws, statutes, 
usages, royal and other charters, grants, and letters-patent relating to 
the city, remain still in force, except such as are inconsistent with or 
contrary to the provisions of the said act. 



Oxford Castle. 

LvASTLES walled with stone, and designed for resi- 
dence as well as for defence, are considered by Grose and 
other writers to be, for the most part, of no higher anti- 
quity than the conquest The conqueror himself, ob- 
serves sir Henry Ellis, in his ' General Introduction to 
Domesday,' was sensible that the want of fortified places 
had greatly facilitated his success. To remedy this de- 
fect, and to overawe his subjects, he erected numerous 
castles. Matthew Paris says expressly, that he surpassed 
all his predecessors in the construction of such fortresses. 
But, though his reign thus exhibits a new era in the 
history of our castellated structures, with respect to their 
number and superiority, there can be no doubt of the 
existence of several castles of importance long before. 



Four are enumerated in Sussex alone ; Arundel, Bram- 
ber, Lewes, and Pevenesey ; of which considerable re- 
mains are still visible : and Camden says, that there was 
anciently a castle in every rape. The first castle attri- 
buted to William in the Saxon Chronicle, soon after his 
landing, is that of Hastings : but this must have been a 
temporary work, to cover his retreat, if necessary ; or 
an adaptation of some former fortress to his present 
purpose. The appearance of D'Oiley's tower at Oxford 
exhibits similar marks of hasty construction : and Mr. 
King very justly remarks, that a tower and castle of re- 
sidence of some kind or other must have existed here for 
a considerable period before the conquest 51 . The original 
castle, he observes, was in very old writings called by 
no other name than Mota h : and, whatever additional 
ditches D'Oiley might make for perfecting the works, 
and for conveying the river round the whole, there 
must have been a surrounding ditch and wall long be- 
fore, formed by king Offa ; who is well known to have 
raised many great earthworks elsewhere, and to have 

a Vestiges of Oxford Castle, p. 2. fol. Lond. 1796. As this work 
was not reprinted in the Munimenta, and as it contains a very minute 
account of the castle, we have made free use of it on the present 
occasion ; without adopting all the opinions of the author. 

b See Spelman's Glossary. The word f moat,' applied originally to 
the wzoo^-houses, or fortified mansions of the Saxons, where they 
usually met on great occasions, has been latterly restricted to the ditch 
only, which surrounds them. A manor house, or court house, is in 
some parts of the country still called the f moot/ or 'mote.' Those 
of Hereford and Windsor, with many others, were so called, at a 
very early period. During the Danish invasions Oxford was one of 
the seven burgs, or fortified towns, mentioned in the Saxon Chro- 
nicle; which appear to be nearly the same with those noticed as 
walled towns in the Domesday survey. In some instances the foss, 
or moat, is the only vestige of antiquity remaining ; the walls being 
gone. Oxford has many interesting remains of both. 


built great edifices at St. Albans and other places; and 
who we are positively told built walls at Oxford . 

By him therefore it is most likely that a Saxon castle 
was originally built here, long before D'Giley's time : a 
castle, which contained also such a sort of tower as was 
deemed, in those days, fit for royal residence. We ac- 
cordingly find that Wood calls it expressly ' the king's 

For that both Offa, and Alfred, and his sons, and 
Harold Harefoot, actually resided in the castle itself; and 
not, as some of the Norman kings afterwards did, in any 
adjoining palace ; is most evident : because in the sur- 
vey taken just after the conquest no mention is made of 
the remains of any other palace, or place of royal resi- 
dence at all, in which they could possibly have dwelt at 
Oxford ; though there is a very minute account of nearly 
750 houses within and without the walls ; chiefly held 
under the king, subject only to a quitrent and the repa- 
ration of the wall when required, or a fine of forty shil- 
lings on neglect. Twenty of these ' mural mansions' are 
expressly said to be then in the king's hands ; which 
were held by earl Algar under the crown in the time of 
king Edward the confessor. 

c Hearne's Preface, p. 103; Coll. Edmundi MSS. vol. LXXXVIII. 
p. 24. But, when it is added, ' where also he fought with the Kentish 
men,' it may be suspected, that Oxford has been confounded with 
Otford in Kent, the Ottanpopba of the Saxon Chronicle, p. 75 ; where 
some manuscripts have Occanjropba. Oxford appeared the more obvi- 
ous, because the decisive battle of Benson was fought in the following 
year, A. D. 775 ; transferring to Offa the undisputed sovereignty of 
this district, which had been in the possession of the west Saxons, 
from Henley on Thames to Ensham, for 200 years. The union of 
Edburga, the daughter of Offa, with Bertric (or Bertie) king of Wes- 
sex, laid the foundation of the subsequent monarchy of Egbert ; and 
Oxford continued long afterwards a distinguished seat of royalty. 

B 2 


Considerable Saxon remains, continues Mr .King, hav- 
been discovered by digging within the castle area : and 
plain common sense alone might easily lead us to con- 
clude, that there must have been in Saxon times some 
kind of buildings of stone fit for the purpose of royal re- 
sidence within the walls of this castle ; when it is actually 
ascertained by ancient records, that even beyond the 
walls a Saxon tower of stone was really standing in the 
time of king Ethelred ; at a distance far on the outside, 
on Grandpont : in the very place where in subsequent 
ages the Norman tower was built, called Friar Bacon's 
study from his occupation of it. 

An inquisition, 5 Ed. Ill, mentioning the great crack 
and decay in the tower over the Oseney gate, mentions 
also the decay of an old hall ; of a kitchen, and two 
chambers, with a wardrobe adjoining ; which are said 
expressly to have been for the use of the custos d of the 
castle ; of a bakehouse, a brewhouse, and a stable ; be- 
sides the small church or chapel of St. George. We must 
therefore conclude, that at Oxford, as at Tunbridge, in 
the area of the castle were several additional buildings 
erected in successive ages. A well is mentioned as hav- 
ing been made in the 20th of Henry II. at the expense of 
19/. 19<?. and 7s. 4>d. for renewing the guard-room,- or 
wardrobe, * pro warnisione renovanda,' according to the 
king's brief. 

d The names of sheriffs, to whom the custody of the castle was 
committed by the king, together with that of the counties of Oxford 
and Berks, have been sometimes confounded with those of the regular 
f custodes.' Both are often mentioned in the county rolls; and on 
one occasion it is thus recorded : ' Custodia (castelli) nunquam sepa- 
rata fuit a comitatu.' The keeper of the castle, though an officer 
under the crown, is still nominated by the county magistrates. The 
mills, being without the castle walls, are now held under the city. 
The Oseney property belongs to Christ Church. 



The well, which was discovered by Mr. Harris in the 
centre of the keep tower on the mount, has been quite 
cleared out ; and a very fine spring of water has been 
found at its bottom, most remarkably cold : to the sur- 
face of which, the whole depth is fifty-four feet, from 
the floor of the well room ; and therefore about seventy 
feet from the top of the mount 6 . The well room is in 
high preservation ; and the architecture accords with the 
time of Henry II. 

It is very remarkable, says Mr. King, that the tower 
still remaining, called St. George's tower, is always de- 
scribed as having been used by way of a campanile, from 
the time that St. George's chapel was used for a parish 
church : and therefore it must have been a campanile 
long before the time of king Stephen ; since this parish 

e Such wells are common in ancient castles, 
castle exceeds two hundred feet in depth. 

B 3 

That at Carisbrook 


church even ceased to be used as such in that reign f . 
Yet we find it mentioned by Wood as having been also 
used as the * king's house,' or lodging. 

Subsequent to the time of king Stephen this tower 
could not well be so used ; because we find it always 
mentioned as being either connected with the church, 
and a part of it, or else as being a prison £. We must 
therefore suppose that this appellation was derived from 
some prior usage : and that could not well be in any 
age between king Stephen's time and the conquest, after 
Robert D'Oiley had once built a great keep tower, so 
much more magnificent. It must surely, therefore, have 
derived this appellation from Saxon times ; and must 
have been converted by Robert D'Oiley to the purpose 
of a campanile for the church and house of secular canons, 
which he founded there, when his new keep tower ren- 
dered this useless as a royal residence 11 . 

f Sir John Peshall's Wood, p. 209. 

S So early as the 15th of Henry III. permission was given, in the 
first place, to the chancellor of the university, to imprison his rebel- 
lious clerks in the castle ; and then, by act of parliament 23 Hen. Ill, 
it was appointed the common gaol for the county : but we may be well 
assured, that neither by the first grant nor by the subsequent statute 
was any thing more meant in those days, than that here, as at Norwich 
castle and many other castles, some one apartment should be allotted 
as a legal prison. And it is not unlikely that the curious well room, 
which we have mentioned, was sometimes used for that very purpose : 
although in succeeding ages the tower of St. George's church was 
made the prison ; and latterly the whole precincts of the castle have 
been consigned to the county and university for this purpose ; the city 
gaol being on Glocester green. 

h But in the 41st year of Hen. III. when Inbert or Humbert Pugeys 
was keeper, there was a grant of 50/. for the repairs of the * king's 
hall, chamber, wardrobe, gaol, bridge of the castle/ &c. ; as also for 
the reparation of the ' king's palace without the castle in Beaumont.' 
V. Peshall from Wood, p. 205. So again, 5 Ed. II. an annual sum of 


The structure itself, when minutely examined, con- 
firms all these ideas. For, like truly old Saxon towers, 
its dimensions are small : like them, the apartment on 
the ground floor has no communication with those 
above : beneath there is a Saxon arch 1 : and the modern 
square prison windows appear to have been inserted in 
places where were either loopholes or Saxon windows. 
What is still more deserving of notice ; at the top, in- 
stead of being finished as a mere campanile would have 
been, this tower has, in a manner very much like those 
old Saxon castles at Castleton, at Porchester, and at Barn- 
borough, the apparent remains of two remarkable arched 
windows ; one on the side nearest to the north, and one 
on that nearest to the south : which yet were not in any 
apartment ; but were merely belonging to the platform 
over the original roof : the wall by means of these win- 
dows serving as a better defence than a mere parapet 
with battlements. 

A more strongly apparent specimen of very old Saxon 
fortification, entirely different from the usual mode of 
finishing the summits of Norman towers, cannot well be 
met with 1 *. 

100 shillings was ordered from the king's exchequer to be paid to the 
sheriff for the reparation of the king's walls and houses in the said 
castle, if the same should be required. V. Abbr. Rot. Orig. 

1 Or early Norman ; first opened- perhaps to form a communication 
with the body of St. George's chapel ; as the eastern walls of several 
other such towers have been pierced, when churches were built against 
them ; being originally intended as watch towers or barbicans, i. e. 
borough-beacons ; called sometimes beacon towers. The word bar, 
applied to a tower-gateway, is perhaps of similar origin. 

k It is remarkable, that the walls of every stage of this tower, 
except the uppermost, are gradually contracted from the base. This 
last stage, however, is perfectly perpendicular, being furnished with 
loopholes, and exhibits more scientific masonry ; as if it were a later 
addition, or reconstructed. The same may be observed respecting the 
upper part of the angular turret, forming the present staircase. 

B 4 



The principal entrance also of this tower, which was into 
the first story above, has a great singularity, that points 
out a Saxon origin : for though it seems, in the time of 
Robert D'Oiley, to have communicated immediately with 
a covered way upon the top of the castle wall ; by means 
of a short flight of steps up to the door ; yet upon 
examination it appears by marks and traces on the out- 
side of the wall of the tower, that originally, before St. 
George's church was built, a flight of stone steps de- 
scended from this door of entrance, on the first story 
above, quite down to the ground ; almost exactly in the 
manner of some of the other early Saxon towers. 

The suspicion of this having been originally a Saxon 
tower, whose walls still remain firm as in several other 
instances, whilst subsequent Norman buildings are crum- 
bled away and lost, is greatly confirmed by a further dis- 
covery made by Mr. Harris of a most curious little Saxon 
crypt, seventy feet from the tower ; for the description 
and a plate of which we refer our readers to Mr. King's 
work. We have given a view of it on a reduced scale. 

:-=JEH.^S=== g?\ C. 

iW ' ' : ,„», 





HKi •■■-- - 


1 / i -i 

m -'- - 


^ ' 





In order to carry on the foundations of the new build- 
ings of Oxford gaol, Mr. Harris was unavoidably obliged 
to disturb the whole. He however replaced the pillars 
in a modern cellar as near the spot as possible ; and as 
far as might be in the same relative situation. Only, in 
consequence of the foundations of a new round tower 
adjoining, the east end of the present little crypt is now 
made convex inwards, instead of being concave, as the 
original one was : and each pillar stands about one foot 
and an half removed from its pristine situation. 

Robert D'Oiley the second, who succeeded his uncle 
the first Robert, and who founded the monastery at 
Oseney, taking part against king Stephen delivered up 
his castle at Oxford to the empress Maud for her resi- 
dence ; upon her coming hither, A. D. 1141, in great 
state from Winchester, with many barons : who had 
promised to protect her during the earl of Gloucester's 
absence in France; to which country he was gone at their 
request in order to bring over prince Henry. The earl 
of Gloucester had been very lately released from his im- 
prisonment in Rochester castle in exchange for king 
Stephen, who had been imprisoned in Bristol castle ; and 
Stephen during this absence of the earl, recovering from 
a severe fit of sickness which had at first ensued, marched 
rapidly and unexpectedly to Oxford : where having gotten 
into the city by surprise, and having set fire to it, he 
proceeded to shut up the empress by a most close siege 
in the castle from Michaelmas to Christmas ; attempting, 
as he could not take the castle by force, to compel the 
castellans by want of provisions to surrender. 

He therefore shut up every avenue by great works ; 
raised two mounts at least over against the Keep : one 
afterwards called mount Pelharn, and the other Jews' 


mount ; from its having in later ages been the place of 
the burning of some Jews, during the days of persecu- 
tion : and from hence, we are told, he battered the castle 
incessantly with all the machines of war then in use ; 
and probably with some of those very stone balls which 
have been found in the well. 

During the quarter of the year that the empress Maud 
was besieged in Oxford castle, it is described as hav- 
ing been principally defended by two exceeding strong 
towers. Those two were most undoubtedly the great keep 
tower on the high mount, built by Robert D'Oiley ; and 
St. George's tower, which there is so much reason to 
believe was the prior Saxon palace, and whose walls 
were near ten feet thick ; whilst its summit had the most 
truly ancient mode of protection, for those who should 
be placed there, to annoy the besiegers. On all which 
accounts it seems manifestly to have been, that these two 
towers were so particularly distinguished beyond the rest. 

The plan of Mr. Harris, engraved in Mr. King's work, pi. cxxviii. 
f. 2. explains the relative situation of all these Saxon and other re- 
mains, as they originally stood, and also their dimensions ; compre- 
hended in our general plan, p. 12. The walls of the old tower at the 
foundation are at least nine feet thick ; whilst the apartment within is 
only about nineteen feet by sixteen. This apartment has a large cir- 
cular-headed archway on the east side, formerly walled up in part, 
but now open : which had no sort of communication with the rooms 
above. To them the only entrance was by a flight of steps on the 
outside; as at Conisborough castle. This in Norman times ascended 
from a covered way, or walk, on the top of the wall leading from the 
round tower : a mode of entrance which, combined with the great 
thickness of the walls and the want of communication with the room 
beneath, plainly shews that this tower could never have been designed 
for a mere campanile to a church, when it was first built ; though it 
might have been converted to this use in D'Oiley's time ; when also 
the large archway may have been opened, to form a communication 
with his new church, or chapel of St. George, as we have observed 
in p. 7. 


At (c) in our general plan was the old St. George's church in Nor- 
man times ; as is very evident from the vast number of human skele- 
tons buried there, lying due east and west ; and from the many frag- 
ments of paving tiles of different colours, with armorial bearings, 
found there. But that it was an edifice subsequent in its date to the 
tower, and by no means coeval with it, appears evident from its being 
placed so much aslant from that building : for had they both been 
built by Robert D'Oiley, and had the tower been originally designed 
for a campanile, they would most unquestionably have been placed 
quite even with each other ; as is the case in all other Norman 

The remaining walls of this church had an old doorway with a cir- 
cular arch ; facing very nearly towards the situation of the Oseney 
gate of the castle : as might well be expected ; when it is remembered, 
that the monks of Oseney were, by frankalmoign tenure, to perform 
divine service in this building. 

At (d d) were apartments for the poor Oseney scholars maintained 
within the castle. But these, as well as other remains, and the ground 
floor of the tower itself, have long been used as parts of the gaol. 

The round tower (e) is said to have been built during the reign of 
Henry III. ' in angulo castri,' between St. George's or D'Oiley's 
tower and the gate, for the sum of 144/. 5s. Behind these two towers 
were the castle mills and mill stream, as at present ; and from the 
corner opposite to (s) went another wall to the Oseney gate. 

At (x) was the small Saxon crypt, not agreeing in its dimensions 
either with the more modern chapel above or with St. George's church. 
Its plan, with its four pillars, is exactly represented here and in p. 8, 
as it was first discovered : twenty feet in breadth, and twenty feet in 
length ; including the semicircular part. 

Over the crypt was built in latter ages a more modern chapel, for 
the use of the castle: the door being exactly behind a stone coffin 
which was found near the spot ; as was also another further to the 
west near the angle of St. Georges tower. 

The building (c) in our plan, was undoubtedly Norman; of the 
time of Robert D'Oiley : and the apartments seem to have been more 
modern still; as well as the chapel over the crypt. But the crypt 
itself appears to have been most truly Saxon ; and manifestly indicates 
the small dimensions of an original Saxon chapel, which was formerly 
built over it, long before the Norman age. The tower (s) also seems 
to have been as truly Saxon in its original formation : as is evident 
from the masonry ; notwithstanding the many vicissitudes and repara- 
tions which it has subsequently undergone. 



PI. cxxx. f. 1. of Mr. King, and our vignette at the end, represent 
the present external appearance of this tower, with the alterations 
made in its upper walls. The loopholes at the top of the tower are 
also seen. 


(a). The Oseney bridge ; near which, there is reason to believe, was 
the original principal entrance of the castle, through a square tower 
at (b), nearly of the same construction with v the tower of entrance 
at Arundel castle ; on which account we may fairly conclude, that 
from this tower there was also an ascent by a covered way and 
steep flight of steps, on the top of a wall, quite up to the keep (k) ; 
the entrance to which flight of steps and covered way was in all 
probability by a narrow door at {y) ; nearly in the same manner as 
at Arundel. 

(s) . The old strong Saxon tower ; now called St. George's tower, 
and sometimes D'Oiley's tower ; still remaining. 

(c). St. George's church ; added to the Saxon tower in 1074. 

{dd). Apartments adjoining to it; represented in Buck's view. 

{x). The ancient Saxon crypt. See the engraving, p. 8. 

(c). The round tower, rebuilt in the time of Henry III. See p. 1 1. 


(f). A square tower adjoining to the original postern of the castle; 
which in succeeding ages became the chief entrance, on account of the 
decay of the Oseney gate. 

But this tower, if Agas's representation is to be relied upon, seems 
rather to have stood close to the side of the gate, after the manner of 
the black tower at Cardiff, than to have had the gateway pass through 
it, as at Arundel ; — and this perhaps may account for the strong forti- 
fication of the bridge of entry. 

(gg). The long fortified bridge belonging to this entrance. 

(h i I). Three other towers ; which, in conformity to Agas, are here 
represented square ; but which might probably have been some of 
them round ; as in the representation of the tower (e) . 

(k). The great decagon keep of Robert D'Oiley, standing on an 
high mount ; with the curious original deep well in its centre. 

(m). The great hall, built most probably in the very beginning of 
the reign of Edward I. and falling into decay in the reign of Ed- 
ward III. The old shire hall, in which were held the black assizes, 
was obviously the continuation of such a sort of building on this spot. 

(n). The kitchen with its offices, and the chambers over them, 
mentioned in the records ; which are placed here in conformity with 
the situation of all such offices in Edward the First's time. 

(r r). The branch of the river running by the castle, which plainly 
seems to have been that called the mill stream in the ancient records 
as at present, and protecting the wall from the round tower to St. 
George's tower. 

(w). Shews nearly the place of the central well ; which in Mr. 
King's description is apparently confounded with the one made in 
the reign of Henry II : this is now again in actual use, near the pre- 
sent second gate of the castle prison ; about twenty-two feet in depth. 

In Buck's south-west Prospect of the City of Oxford may be 
seen, at one glance, both the distance beyond the walls of the castle, 
at which the tower called Friar Bacon's study was placed ; where an 
old Saxon tower of stone once stood in the time of Ethelred ; — and 
also the nearness of Oseney abbey. In the second volume of the same 
valuable work, by S. and N. Buck, there is a north prospect of the 
castle, which was finished in the year 1729. Parts of the ancient wall 
are there seen on either side of the tower, with buildings attached, 
and a circular-headed doorway. 

For causing the water to flow into the great ditch 
(opq) surrounding the castle, there was very anciently 
a lock, weir, or dam, a little below (t), with ' mansurae' 


or tenements built upon it, which was useful for a mill 
or mills, as at present 111 ; protected by St. George's tower 
(s) somewhat in the same manner as there was formerly 
a dam protected by one of the towers of Tunbridge castle, 
for the purpose of diverting the course of the river in 
order to supply the works surrounding that castle with 
a part of its waters. 

Such turning of the stream however round the castle 
at Oxford has long been disused : and the ditches having 
become in most parts dry", and filled up level, the pre- 
sent entrance of the castle is on plain ground. 

Where stood the malthouse, brewhouse, stable, ward- 
robe, and other apartments which are mentioned in the 
ancient rolls, it is not of much importance now to deter- 
mine. Of their very early existence there can be no 

We cannot dismiss the subject without mentioning the 
taste and skill displayed in the construction and arrange- 
ment of the new buildings of the castle, as well as the 

m More mills than one are mentioned in ancient records. Imbert 
Pugeys, to whom the custody of the castle was committed 37 or 38 
Hen. Ill, had the moiety of the mills under the castle — 'medietat' 
molendinor' subt' idem castrum ;' the other moiety being probably 
vested in the hands of John de Turbervill. One mill only is men- 
tioned, 32 Hen. III. with the king's mead. But the ' mills' and mill- 
dam, ' wara,' with houses upon it, are mentioned in D'Oiley's charters 
of conveyance to Oseney abbey. The words ' supra waram,' however, 
in these charters, describing the situation of these very houses ' upon 
the weir,' or mill-dam, have been hitherto erroneously confounded 
with the place called War ham ; the ham upon the weir. Vid. Monast. 
II. 137 ; and Stevens, II. 117—119. 

n So early as in the reign of Edw. II. the herbage of the ditches is 
mentioned among the annual profits of the castle ; of which the 
keeper was to give an account to the sheriff, and the sheriff to the 
crown. At that time Thomas Danvers was sheriff, and Richard 
Damory keeper ; when an account was rendered of 79/. 2s. *]d. 


commendable zeal and care bestowed in preserving as 
much of the old fortress as was consistent with modern 
accommodation. The towers exhibit an appropriate air 
of castellated security ; an appearance of strength per- 
vades the whole ; and the interior is subdivided into dis- 
tinct cells and compartments, where health, light, and 
cleanliness have not been forgotten among other essen- 
tial objects of the architect. It appears, that between the 
years 1783 and 1785 the county magistrates adopted the 
resolution of enlarging the precincts of the castle, and of 
rebuilding the whole. Accordingly the purchase of some 
additional ground was effected from the dean and chap- 
ter of Christ Church for the sum of 1171/. 10s., the 
greater part of which was paid to Charles Etty, esq. the 
then lessee of the property under that body. 

Among various plans delivered, after public advertise- 
ment, that of Mr. Blackburn, architect, was selected ; and 
the works were commenced under the direction of Edward 
Edge of Bisley, Glocestershire, who built the boundary 
wall round the gaol and one wing of the interior. But it 
was not until 1805 that the entire improvements were 
completed under the superintendence of Mr. Harris, the 
Oxford builder. The total cost of these improvements, in- 
cluding the purchase of the additional ground, amounted 
to 19,033/. The magistrates most active in promoting 
this design were, Christopher Willoughby, esq.; after- 
wards a baronet ; the earl of Macclesfield, Dr. Cooke, 
Dr. Onslow, and Dr. Nowel. Since that period various 
alterations and additions have been made in the gaol, in 
compliance with certain statutory provisions, the main- 
tenance of which forms a considerable item in the annual 
expenditure of the county. There is a small committee 
room for the convenience of the magistrates; but the 



ordinary business of the county, as well as that of the 
sessions and assizes, is conducted in the town hall ; 
built chiefly at the expense of Thomas Rowney, esq. about 
the year 1752. A regular chaplain is appointed by the 
magistrates to visit the convicts in the gaol, and to per- 
form the service daily in a small chapel constructed for 
the purpose within the precincts of the castle. The 
foundation of this chapel, as well as a considerable bene- 
faction for the use of the poor prisoners in the castle, 
must be ascribed to the benevolence of Thomas Horde 
(or Howard) esq. Sir Thomas Pope also, the founder 
of Trinity college, left an annual sum 'pro pauperibus in 


! , | :i ; P mondsworth.. 

,i.: it] r.O ford 



The Schools. 

_L HE details connected with the subject of the Public 
Schools will necessarily include a brief review of the 
Academical History of Oxford. 

There is reason to believe, that from a period beyond 
all record there existed in the very centre of this city a 
spot more immediately dedicated to the purposes of gene- 

47 b 


ral study and education 3 . Even the good king Alfred 
has been generally considered rather as the restorer than 
the founder of the University. The statistical descrip- 
tion of the town, its walls, its mural mansions, its ' do- 
mus hospitatse,' &c. in the Domesday Survey, suffi- 
ciently proves its long-established importance ; whilst 
the indirect manner in which some of its most venerable 
churches are there incidentally noticed, with the landed 
property of the canons of St. Frideswide, ' which never 
belonged to any Hundred,' affords additional testi- 
mony to its antiquity and independence. The ravages 
of the Danes, previous to this period, will satisfactorily 
account for the loss of all earlier records; but the his- 
tory of the place, whether academical or municipal, as- 
sumes and occupies a prominent station from this epoch. 
No sooner had it recovered its municipal rights and ener- 
gies, after the temporary hostilities of Danish and Nor- 
man conquerors, than we find its academical character 
returning. Within ten years after the conquest b , the col- 
legiate church of St. George in the castle of Oxford, the 

a Wood has left us a most elaborate detail of the principal 
Schools, arranged in alphabetical order. They were for the most 
part standing in School-street, and were used as Schools beyond all 
the record that he had seen ; and, as he was fully persuaded, before 
the time that they were known by the names which occur in ancient 
deeds; though he has traced the greater part of them to the 12th and 
13th centuries. This part of his work occupies eighty-four pages in 
the quarto edition of Mr. Gutch ; Oxford, 1796. 

b A.D. 1075. Chron. T. Wikes, p. 22. Ed. Gale, fol. Oxon. 1687. 
A manuscript in Corpus library, quoted by Dugdale in the Monasticon, 
gives the date a year earlier, and attributes the foundation jointly 
to D'Oiley and his sworn companion in arms, Roger DTveri. In 
another place the church is said to have been built by Osmund, bishop 
of Sarum. See Wood ap. Peshall, p. 209. Osmund was consecrated 
in 1078, and died in 1099. See Tanner's Not. Mon. p. 418. 


tower of which still remains, was founded hy Robert 
D'Oiley ; who settled therein secular canons of the order 
of St. Augustine : being such, observes Wood, as were 
1 most fit for an university, and not bound to keep their 
cloister, as regulars are.' Here they continued till their 
translation to Oseney abbey in 1149, 'at which time,' 
adds the same diligent antiquary, c this their said habi- 
tation became a nursery for secular students, subject to 
the chancellor's jurisdiction.' Brumman le Riche en- 
dowed this same church of St. George, at its first founda- 
tion, with land in Walton manor, in the northern sub- 
urbs of Oxford ; whence probably arose the tradition 
that the ancient university was on that side of the town : 
the Benedictines also having about this time a consider- 
able establishment for the instruction of their novices, 
where now stands Worcester college . Here, according 
to Twyne and Wood, was a Campus Marlins, ' divided 
into several portions, according to the scholastic degrees ;' 
and ' at the end of non ultra walk a piece of ground 
called Rome, having been a little hill, sometime contain- 
ing a cave underneath, with a meander therein, and at 
the top thereof a cross built of stone.' But of these clas- 
sical and Christian symbols combined, and of the wind- 
mill afterwards erected in the room of them, no trace or 
memory now remains. This academical retreat was ap- 
propriately terminated at each end by the wells of Plato 
and Aristotle d . 

The college of St. George, before mentioned, continued 

c See our account of that college, with the history of the parishes of 
St. Mary Magdalene and St. Giles. 

d These learned appellations appear to have been substituted for 
1 Brumman's Well ' and ' Cornish Chough Well.' 

B 2 


in the patronage of Oseney abbey till its dissolution ; 
being governed by statutes similar in some respects to 
those of more recent colleges, and consisting of a warden, 
fellows, and scholars. The warden was always to be 
chosen from the canons of Oseney : the fellows and scho- 
lars w T ere sworn to perform divine service, and in all 
things to be faithful to the wardens in succession so long 
as they lived in the college ; to be kind, loving, peace- 
able, modest, chaste, and holy ; and if any of them were 
preferred to a living, or died in the college, they should 
leave something, &c. There were five secular priests ; 
and the scholars were in number twelve, for the most 
part Welsh. 

We have stated these particulars, because they con- 
tain some of the elements of that collegiate system which 
afterwards became general in the university. 

The most ancient Schools Wood divides into secular 
and claustral ; that is, those which belonged to inde- 
pendent halls or colleges, and others which were sup- 
ported by the monastic bodies. In both there was a 
constant succession of masters, doctors, or professors in 
each faculty, who publicly taught, or acted as modera- 
tors, subject to the chancellor of the university, who was 
called at a very early period the ' Rector of the Schools.' 
Notwithstanding the prevalence of the religious orders, 
particularly the Augustinians and Benedictines, the clau- 
stral schools were never so much frequented as the secu- 
lar. These latter in process of time became so nume- 
rous, as to give name to that ancient street so frequently 
mentioned, leading from the west end of St. Mary's church 
to the north wall of the city. They were originally at- 
tached to the celebrated halls there situated, being the 


largest rooms in them ; but sometimes in Lent the num- 
ber of determining bachelors was so great, that the 
schools were not capable of containing them. In such 
cases they performed their exercises in or over the larger 
shops of the citizens, and even in places remote from the 
concourse of scholars. This inconvenience probably led 
to the perversion of the use of St. Mary's church for the 
purposes of scholastic acts ; an abuse which at length 
gradually produced the erection of a Divinity School, a 
Convocation House, and a Theatre ; public buildings 
admirably adapted for all the ordinary or extraordinary 
business of the University. 


All the ancient Schools seem to have been distinct 
rooms, in which grammar, logic, rhetoric, sophistry, &c. 
were taught. The Schools of Arts were first reduced 
into one large pile of building about the year 1439. But 
the Divinity School, which is the great consummation of 

e So called because the exercises performed by them in Lent term, 
subsequent to their bachelor's degree, relieved them from the neces- 
sity of keeping terms regularly, as before, within the walls of a col- 
lege or hall. A dispensation is now granted every year for the omis- 
sion of these exercises, and an annual list of the names of the deter- 
mining bachelors is printed. 



the whole plan, and which still exists as an unrivalled 
specimen of ancient splendour, was not finished till the 
year 1480. 

Some of the first Schools on record after the Norman 
conquest were those belonging to Oseney abbey. They 
appear to have been large and separate apartments over 
the shops of the citizens, and rented at a sum equal to 
one half of the house-rent. Thus ( Wodecocke Schools/ 
so called from the time of king John to that of Richard the 
Second, are repeatedly registered in the rent-rolls of that 
monastery as being over a shop or residence of a family of 
that name. They were in St. Mary's parish, opposite to 
the place where All Souls' college now stands. ' Torald 
Schools' also, situated at the upper end of School-street 
on the east side, were given to Oseney abbey by a person 
of that name about 46 Hen. Ill, and belonged, even 
before they came to the Thoralds, to one master Richard 
Bacun, a member of the university ; who, as Wood 
thinks it probable, read or taught in them. They con- 
sisted of a large tenement, part of which was fitted up 
for Schools, and the other part as a hall for students. 
These and other Schools hereabout, amounting to four- 
teen, as appears from rent-rolls of 1377 — 1385, becom- 
ing ruinous, were taken down and rebuilt by Thomas 
Hokenorton, abbot of Oseney, on one uniform plan. 
This new fabric, which was finished, as we have inti- 
mated above, in 1439, is described as a long pile of stone 
building, consisting of two stories, and divided into ten 
Schools f ; five below, and five above ; the names of which 

f A correct idea of this building may be formed from one of Nele's 
views, which we have thought sufficiently curious to be repeated in 
page 5. It exactly corresponds with the description here given. 


are preserved in a rent roll of the following year, and 
differ very little from those still seen over the doors of 
the present Schools g . The following appears to have 
been the order of study in those times, if we may judge 
from the arrangement of the Schools : — Grammar, Rhe- 
toric, Logic, Arithmetic, Music, Geometry, Astronomy, 
Moral Philosophy, Natural Philosophy, Metaphysics. 

We are not to conclude, that either before or after the 
erection of these Schools all the rest fell into disuse or 
decay. On the contrary, more than twenty others seem 
to have flourished about the same time h : and these were 
generally so full, that in Lent, as we before observed, 
many were forced to determine in the houses of tradesmen; 
or else in private chambers of halls, and in inner rooms or 
recesses far distant from the access of scholars. Hence 
originated a disreputable class, called ' Chamberdekyns :' 
for the Masters in every faculty and science, in times the 
most ancient, were accustomed to read lectures in their 
own chambers, wheresoever they were 1 . But this prac- 
tice in succeeding ages being discountenanced, when the 
number of public Schools increased, and a taste for logi- 
cal disputations became prevalent, it was ordered in the 
'Assemblie House,' about the year 1408, that it should 
not be lawful for any to determine their Acts any where 
except within some of the two and thirty Schools in 

s The difference consists chiefly of some additions ; as, for Lan- 
guages, Jurisprudence, &c. 

h For a particular account of each we must refer to the pages of 
Wood. V. Annals by Gutch, B. II. 710—794. 

1 Thus in the Chronicle of T. Wikes, p. 118, we read, that in the 
year 1289, after the termination of the disputes between the univer- 
sity and the bishop of Lincoln, the Masters began to resume their 
stations, * et inceperunt solenniter legere in cameris suis. y 

B 4 


School-street; and subsequently, about the year 1439, 
the Masters were ordered to read in School-street, or in 
some noted religious place ; that is, in some secular or 
claustral School. After this decree, the Inceptors in the 
faculty of Arts, who were also by statute bound to read 
there, were compelled to supplicate, that it might be 
lawful for them the year following, when they were 
regents, to read their Ordinary Lectures ' extra vicum 
Scholarum.' Dispensations to that effect are frequently 
recorded in the old registers. The reason of such decrees 
was, partly, because that street and others adjoining 
were furnished with more halls and houses of learning 
than any in the university ; but principally, perhaps, 
because the situation was central, and contiguous to St. 
Mary's church ; where, in the old Congregation house, 
or in some of the chapels belonging to that ancient fabric, 
the university held all their solemn meetings b ; and from 
the north door of which the Masters usually went in 
procession, accompanied by their auditors, to the public 
Schools allotted to them respectively, for the delivery of 
their Ordinary Lectures. Similar formalities were ob- 
served on other occasions ; and almost to our own times 
the determining bachelors in Lent, after Latin prayers 
in the choir or chancel of St. Mary's, were accustom- 
ed to proceed in their proper habits to the several Schools 
into which they were distributed by the Collectors : but, 
since the introduction of a new system of instruction and 
examination, all these solemnities and formalities, with 
the whole train of scholastic exercises and disputations — 
vesperial and comitial, terminal and quadragesimal, as 
well as Austins, Quodlibets, and Juraments, have van- 

k See our account of St. Mary's church. 

: :'..•; 


ished away, and have become mere matters of academi- 
cal history 1 . 

The departure from the old system, however, may be 
traced to an earlier period than the present or even 
the preceding century. Soon after the restoration of 
Charles II. a taste for polite literature and science hav- 
ing succeeded to the polemical animosities which had 
distracted the nation more or less from the time of the 
Reformation, fomented by men who ' turned religion into 
rebellion, and faith into faction,' the authorities of the 
university felt the necessity of promoting the cultivation 
of studies more in accordance with the national taste. 
With this view a statute was framed in June, 1662, and 
published in December following ; by which all bache- 
lors of Arts were required to recite from memory two 
declamations of their own composition, in the School 
of Natural Philosophy, in the presence of one of the 
proctors, pro-proctors, or masters of the Schools, before 
they commenced Inceptors in Arts" 1 . The ultimate, if not 
the immediate effect of this statute was, to throw into 
the shade the former system of logical and philosophical 

1 The whole of Titulus VIII. concerning Ordinary Disputations, 
occupying five pages in the quarto edition of the Corpus Statutorum, 
printed in 1768, was abrogated in 1819 by a brief statute of four lines. 

m It is remarkable, that something of this kind was attempted 
about the year 1540 ; when quadragesimal exercises for bachelors 
were taken away, and declamations appointed in their stead. See 
Wood's Annals by Gutch, B. II. p. 762. There was no novelty of 
proceeding, therefore, in the substitution of two lectures, ' binas 
lectiones,' for such exercises, in the case of determining bachelors, by 
the statute of 1808. These exercises had been pertinaciously restored 
at the commencement of queen Mary's reign. Vid. Pat. 1 Mar. p. 2. 
New statutes were compiled in the reign of queen Elizabeth; Arthur 
Yeldard, president of Trinity college, being named the first of the 
delegates appointed for that purpose in 1576. 


disputations on trivial subjects, to train young men 
intended for public stations to the practice of public 
speaking, and to produce the taste and the talent for 
correct, copious, manly, and original composition, formed 
after the models of classical antiquity". This system, 
gradually working its way through all the impediments 
of inveterate prejudice, and producing several generations 
of illustrious statesmen, divines, heroes, and philosophers, 
has at length finally triumphed over the other. The 
nineteenth century commenced with an entire change in 
the mode of conducting the public examinations ; and, 
though a variety of minor alterations have at different 
times been introduced since, it is from the statute of 
May 21, 1800, that we must date the complete reforma- 
tion of the scholastic part of the academical code . 

n It is worthy of notice, that in the preamble to this statute the 
university acknowledges the importance of the ' literjg humani- 
ores \ and regrets, that no sufficient provision had been previously 
made, by means of the public exercises, for the encouragement of 
polite literature and eloquence : — ' cum rei literarias intersit, ut, qui 
ad gradus Academicos promoventur, specimina profectus sui in iis 
quas profitentur Artibus publice praebeantj et non minus in humani- 
oribus literis quam disputationibus philosophicis versatos se 
comprobent : quandoquidem alteri harum, nimirum politiori lite- 
rature dicendique studiis, per publica Exercitia nondum satis pro- 
spectum videatur; placuit Academiae' — &c. Public Declamations in 
the halls of colleges still form an important part of the academical 
system of instruction. 

See Addenda to the Corpus Statutorum, Tit. IX. Sect. II. 
p. 115-125, 157-167, 198-9, 213-236, 261-276. Large demands are 
sometimes made upon our patience and forbearance by superficial 
persons, who magnify the Laudian code, and Caroline statutes, as 
they are called in common parlance : but perhaps, in the language of 
the great moralist and philosopher, we may rest satisfied, that the 
wisest remedy for such pompous fatuity is a contemptuous silence. 
What Laud suggested, or Charles the First sanctioned, related chiefly 
to the subordinate discipline and government of the university ; but, 


The New Schools. — The schools built by abbot 
Hokenorton being inadequate to the increasing wants of 
the university, they applied to the abbot of Reading for 
stone to rebuild them; and in the year 1532 it appears 
that considerable sums of money were expended on 
them ; but they went to decay in the latter part of the 
reign of Henry VIII. and during the whole reign of 
Edward VI. The change of religion having occasioned a 
suspension of the usual exercises and scholastic acts in 
the university, in the year 1540 only two of these 
schools were used by Determiners, and within two years 
after none at all. The whole area, between these schools 
and the Divinity school, was subsequently converted 
into a garden and a pig-market ; and the Schools 
themselves, being completely abandoned by the masters 
and scholars, were used by glovers and laundresses. 
' There where Minerva sate as regent for several ages/ 
exclaims Wood, ' was nothing remaining all the reign 
of K. Edward VI. but wretched solitariness — and no- 
thing but a dead silence appeared.' At length the uni- 
versity, in 1554, obtained from the dean and canons of 
Christ Church, who had succeeded to this Oseney pro- 
perty, a grant of the site of these schools with a garden 
behind, on the east side of them, on condition of releas- 
ing them for ever from the payment of two yearly pen- 
sions, amounting together to the sum of 2/. 135. id. 

as has been observed, the Corpus Statutorum itself 'introduced little 
or no change in the mechanism of academical instruction. Even in 
the worst of times, according to the writer of the preface to that com- 
pilation — * inter incerta vacillans statuta, viguit academia, colebantur 
studia, enituit disciplina ; et optanda temporum felicitate, tabularum 
defectus resarcivit innatus candor ; et quicquid legibus deerat, mori- 
bus suppletum est.' 


After this, in 1557-8, more than 200/. were expended 
on the said schools and on the Divinity school, under 
the direction of Dr. Thomas Rainholds, then commissary 
of the university, who also himself contributed liberally 
to the repairs. But sir Thomas Bodley having in a 
better age, and with a nobler design, begun the eastern 
part of the Public Library, the addition of three more 
sides to that, to form one grand quadrangular pile, was 
a proposition admirably suited to his great conceptions ; 
and in 1611-12, just before his death, with the coopera- 
tion of sir John Bennett and others, the whole plan of 
the present fabric was matured, and a standing delegacy 
appointed to carry the work into execution. Sir Thomas 
was buried in Merton chapel March 29, 1613; and on 
the day following the first stone of the new building 
was laid by Sir John Bennett in the north-west end, 
where the Moral Philosophy and Civil Law schools were 
afterwards constructed. During the six years occupied 
in completing this massive structure, the contributions 
of numerous benefactors amounted to about 4,500/., in 
addition to the moneys left by sir Thomas Bodley. 

The architect of these schools was Thomas Holt of 
York, who died Sept. 9, 1624, and was buried in the 
churchyard of Holywell. The inscription on his tomb 
is printed by Peshall from Wood's manuscripts. In the 
register of burials in St. Mary's parish, occurs in the year 
1631, as printed by Peshall, ' Mr. J. Acroid, chief builder 
of the schools, Sept. 11.' This, however, is evidently 
a mistake for 1613. He is often mentioned by sir Tho- 
mas Bodley in his letters to Dr. James, his first librarian. 
The Bentleys appear to have survived him. In the re- 
gister of burials of St. Peter's in the East, occurs, — ' 1615, 
8 Dec. J. Bentley, one of the chief masons that built the 



Schools, and Merton college New Buildings ;' and a little 
below, — ' 1618, 29 Jan. Mic. Bentley, unus e lapicidis 
qui aedificarunt Publ. Scholas.' From these dates it ap- 
pears, that there were three builders in succession, who 
undertook the work, and all three died before its com- 
pletion ; but the architect survived. 


In this fabric we see not much of that ' special come- 
liness of workmanship,' which Bodley seems to have 
anticipated, and which is attempted in the panel-work 
of the western side p ; for, if we except the display of the 

p See his letter to the Vice- Chancellor, Dr. Singleton, dated from 
London, Nov. 5, 1611. ' His will was— upon a foresight he had that 
in process of time there would be great want of conveyance and stow- 
age for books, because of the endless multitude of those that were 
there already— that if the intended present plot for building the new 


five orders in the interior view of the tower, and a few 
other embellishments, there is very little ornament to 
relieve the monotony of the edifice. This effect has been 
increased by the removal of the transoms, which ori- 
ginally divided the windows into a greater number of 
compartments, as may be seen in Loggan's view. To 
resist the perpendicular pressure of this heavy mass, the 
architect adopted the counter arching expedient : of which 
the earliest examples will be found over the windows on 
the west side of Magdalene college, under the library ; 
and in a singular instance in the old vestry at Trinity 
college, over a large square window of three lights, in- 
troduced into the eastern wall apparently after ' Anger- 
vyle's library' was built. 

The following appointment of the several Schools, for 
each faculty and science, is recorded in one of the univer- 
sity registers, and also notified by inscriptions over the 
doors in letters of gold : — On the south side, Medicine and 
Anatomy, since taken into the Public Library ; with the 
School of Natural Philosophy contiguous to 
the Medicine and Anatomy School, on the same story, 
was that for Hebrew, afterwards Music and Rhetoric ; 
sometime used as a drying-room for the Press, and now 
an additional room to the Library ; under which is the 
present Music School. The north side contained the 

Schools should proceed in such sort as the same that was then devised 
by public consent, then over the tops of those two stories, which were 
resolved to be the height of the Schools, there should be contrived 
another third room, (in case it might be performed with good conve- 
nience, and with the university's approbation,) to go in compass round 
over the Schools ; and so to meet at each end in two lobbies or pas- 
sages, framed with some special comeliness of workmanship, to make a 
fair entrance into the north and south corners of his late new enlarge- 
ment eastward/ &c. Wood's Annals ap. Gutch, B. II. p. 789. 


School of Civil Law, or Jurisprudence, now a part of the 
Library ; with that of Moral Philosophy under it, since 
appropriated to the reception of the Arundel marbles, 
&c. : the Greek School, afterwards used for languages 
generally, contiguous to the Law School ; with Gram- 
mar and History underneath, now converted into an 
Examination School. The east side contained Geometry 
and Arithmetic in one, with Metaphysics underneath, 
now added to the Examination School. On the other 
side of the tower was the School of Astronomy ; with 
that of Logic, or Dialectics, underneath ; in which last 
is deposited the Pomfret collection of statues, busts, &c. 
All these rooms were wainscoted from the beginning, as 
high as the windows, and furnished with a rostrum, or 
pulpit, for the professor, with benches for the auditors. 
The principal entrance is from . Cat street, opposite the 
present Magdalene Hall, under a handsome groined arch- 
way : the folding oak doors of which are elaborately 
carved, and ornamented with the royal arms and devices, 
the arms of the university, and those of all the colleges 
then in existence ; concluding with the arms of Wadham 
college, then recently founded : as seen in our engraving 
in the first page. Over this archway are four rooms, or 
stories : the first was intended as a mathematical library 
for the use of the Savilian professors ; the second forms 
a handsome part of the picture gallery ; the third is the 
archive room, containing the muniments and registers of 
the university, &c. ; and the fourth, or uppermost, was 
intended to serve as an observatory for the use of the 
astronomical professors. The figures and emblems cut 
in stone, in the upper part of the tower, were at first, 
with great cost and splendour, double-gilt ; but when 
king James came from Woodstock to see this quadran- 



gular pile, he commanded them to be whitened over ; 
because they were so dazzling, or, as Wood expresses it, 
1 so glorious and splendid,' that none, especially when 
the sun shone ; could behold them. Over the arch of 
entrance, and also in the upper story of the tower, front- 
ing the area, are the royal arms, with supporters, &c. 
Over the northern archway are the arms of the uni- 
versity, ensigned with a round cap, and supported by 
two angels. Over the southern archway, which leads to 
the RadclhTe square, is the family escutcheon of William 
earl of Pembroke, with a brief inscription in letters of 
gold ; denoting, that he was then chamberlain of the 
king's household, and chancellor of the university. This 
archway, as well as the rest, has a groined vaulting of 
stone, with escutcheons at the intersection of the ribs. 





Among the Schools appropriated to particular facul- 
ties, as might naturally be expected, there were many in 
different places for the profession of divinity. The first 
teachers of that important branch of academical instruc- 
tion read to their pupils and auditors, as was custom- 
ary in other departments in early times, in their own 
chambers. But much inconvenience having arisen from 
this practice, they were compelled by the authorities of 
the university to transfer their lectures to more public 
places ; such as the old church of St. Mildred, the chapels 
adjoining to St. Mary's, or the religious houses. Among 
the latter we find the priory of the Augustinians the 
most celebrated ; in whose chapter-house, where Wad- 
ham college now stands, secular as well as regular stu- 
dents performed their exercises in theology, paying to 
the prior certain fees for the use of it. The vespers and 
other exercises, anciently performed in the mansions of 
the Dominican and Franciscan friars, were after great 
struggles transterred to St. Mary's church about the latter 
end of the reign of Edward the First ; and a composi- 

48 c 


tion to that effect between the university and the preach- 
ing friars, under their common seals, was confirmed by 
letters patent of 7 Edw. II. The theological lectures of 
the Carmelites and Benedictines, in the northern suburbs, 
were never much frequented, in consequence of their dis- 
tance from School street and the chief places of con- 
course. One of the last of the secular schools, before the 
present school of Divinity was begun, is that already 
mentioned in page 5 ; which, from the rent being some- 
times entered in the name of the chancellor, we may 
conclude to have been publicly used for theological exer- 
cises and disputations*. 

At length, in the year 1426 or 1427, the university 
having obtained from the master and scholars of Balliol 
college a void piece of ground, in exchange for Sparrow 
hall, which was more convenient to that society, they 
commenced the foundation of the present splendid edi- 
fice. The site is described as within the walls of the 
town of Oxford, between Exeter college on the west, 
School street on the east, Exeter lane running under the 
said walls on the north, and the tenements of the con- 
vent of Dorchester and of the college of Balliol on the 
south b . In this great work the university was liberally 
assisted by the Benedictines ; who contributed 100/. on 
condition, that all persons of their order, whether gra- 
duates or scholars, should have the free use of the 

a ' De Schola Theologica super seldam/ &c. 9 Ric. II. This is the 
same School which occurs so early as 8 Ed. I. (1280) for which a 
rent of sixteen shillings was paid by the chancellor : ' Scolae supra 
seldas Wodecocke per cancellarium Oxon' xvj sol.' V. Wood ap. 
Gutch, Ann. B. II. p. 759, 774. 

b These tenements comprehended Dorchester schools and the old 
schools of Balliol college; the site of which is now included in the 
gardens of Exeter college. 


said School for ever c . Many other contributions soon 
followed ; as from archbishop Chichele ; William Gray, 
dean of St. Paul's ; the deans and chapters of Salis- 
bury, Wells, Exeter, and Lincoln : but one of the prin- 
cipal benefactors was the good duke Humphrey of Glo- 
cester; who, in consequence of an application to him 
from the university in 1445, not only assisted them boun- 
tifully in their first object of erecting a Divinity School, 
but also adopted and promoted their suggestion of build- 
ing a Public Library over it, which remains to this day ; 
being the same which was afterwards enlarged by sir 
Thomas Bodley d . Hence duke Humphrey has been 
generally considered as the founder of the whole 
structure ; though Thomas Kemp, bishop of London, 
who in 1478 generously gave 1000 marks to enable the 
university to complete the work, has been sometimes 
complimented with a similar title 6 . The uncle of this 
same prelate, John Kemp, archbishop of York, and a 
cardinal, had previously given 500 marks ; and, with 
Edmund duke of Somerset and marquis of Dorchester, 
as executor to cardinal Beaufort, had consented to the 
disposal of 5000 marks more towards the same object 
from the effects of the said cardinal, at the instance of 

c Vid. ' Acta Capitularia/ &c. ap. Wilkins, Concil. III. 466, et 
seqq. from a manuscript at Durham, and Wood ap. Gutch, Ann. B. II. 
p. 775. 

d See our account of the Bodleian library. 

e As in the following letter to him from the university : ' Tu igitur 
unus, cum huic structurse extremam manum imposueris, totius nimi- 
rum aedificii author videberis,' &c. ; a very common case in the his- 
tory of architectural designs, which have occupied some time in build- 
ing. The arms and badges also of both uncle and nephew are very 
conspicuous on the vaulted ceiling; viz. three wheatsheaves ; some- 
times alone, and sometimes impaled with the see of Canterbury. 

c 2 



Gilbert Kymer f , then chancellor of the university; who 
with Elias Holcot, warden of Merton college, was ac- 
tively engaged in superintending the progress of the 
undertaking^ Among other causes, which retarded the 
completion of this magnificent fabric, it appears, that the 
workmen, who were the same that were employed at 
Eton and Windsor under the directions of William of 
Waynflete, as overseer of the works there, had been 
called away under a mandate from the king ; but were 
afterwards restored in consequence of a petition from the 
university. Then the work went speedily forward ; and 
Waynflete lent the very scaffolds which were used in 
building his college, to expedite the labours of the 


The unexampled splendour of this edifice, when its 
broad and elaborate windows were filled with glass of 

f He was physician to Humphrey duke of Glocester, but had consi- 
derable preferment in the church. A curious work of his, compiled 
for the use of his great patron and friend, 'has been printed among 
other miscellaneous articles in Hearne's Liber Niger Scaccarii. 

« One William Church was supervisor or surveyor of the works in 
1453, whose roll of accounts is mentioned by Wood as being in the 
treasury of University college. Ann. II. 777. 


every colour, representing the Saints and Fathers of the 
church, with the armorial ensigns of nearly a hundred 
benefactors, can now be scarcely imagined 11 . Many 
sculptured embellishments are still visible in good pre- 
servation on the vaulted roof 1 ; and the heraldic inquirer 
will be interested in the account of them, and of the arms 
formerly in the windows, in the second book of Wood's 
Annals. In that work a melancholy picture is given of 
the state of this building in the pious reign of Edward 
VI. From neglect of the necessary repairs it first 
suffered in its roof and gutters of lead. Part of the fur- 
niture was then taken away by mechanics ; the win- 
dows were broken ; and the lead belonging to them, with 
any thing else that could be easily pilfered, quite taken 
away. Nettles, bushes, and brambles, grew about the 
walls ; and a pound for cattle was erected close to it. 

An attempt was made in queen Mary's reign, about 
the year 1557, to repair the injuries received ; but in the 
following century we find the same system of neglect or 
misapplication. In 1625, in consequence of the plague 
raging in London, the house of commons assembled here 3 , 
and the lords sat in the north end of the School or Pic- 
ture Gallery k . The privy council met at Christ Church. 

h The great west window of St. Mary's church was also filled ori- 
ginally with painted glass ; representing in groupes of figures an 
epitome of the history of the university. 

* See the two pendants, p. 17. The whole was repaired, as well as 
the library above, under the superintendence of sir Christopher Wren. 

•* A former parliament having acquired the title of insanum, this was 
called ' parliamentum vanum.' See Wood's Annals. 

k For a minute account of the present valuable contents of this 
gallery, as well as of the Pomfret collection of statues, Arundel mar- 
bles, &c. we must refer to the new edition of the Oxford Guide, 
printed in 1834; as well as to the second book of Wood's History by 
Gutch, Oxford, 1796. We have given a view of the Pomfret School. 

c 3 


At the commencement of the civil wars most of the 
Schools were used as storehouses for 'corn and pro- 
visions, and the upper room of the tower was rilled 
with muskets. But nothing is more to be regretted 
than the incongruous load of oak carpentry placed 
at the west end of the Divinity School in the year 
1669. The chief persons concerned in this arrangement 
were Dean Fell, who was then vice-chancellor, and 
sir Christopher Wren, who superintended the practical 
part of the work. For this purpose, according to Wood, 
they removed the professor's chair, which stood in the 
middle on the south side, ' a fair piece of polished work 
erected on pillars of stone curiously wrought, with a 
canopy of carved wood, supported by pillars of the same, 
and reaching almost to the roof.' The opponent's seat 
was under this chair, or pulpit, on the stonework of 
which were the arms of cardinal Morton, archbishop of 
Canterbury, who probably was the chief contributor to 
this part of the interior. The respondent's seat was 
opposite to this, on the north side ;* built like the former 
of polished stone entirely from the floor, and half en- 
compassed with a stone seat for the auditors. It should 
be remarked, however, that before this time all the an- 
cient seats, which stood there with desks before them, 
from one end to the other, had been taken away ; and 
the area being thus made clear, an opening was made, 
and an arch constructed with folding-doors under one of 
the windows on the north side, opposite to the great 
door of the Theatre ; for the purpose of making so- 
lemn processions into that noble building on public occa- 
sions through the Divinity School. Without disturbing 
the usual practice of the university in this respect, which 
is admirably contrived for effect, the interior of this room 



might in these days of improvement be restored to some- 
thing of its former magnificence. 

The Theatre. — The first stone of this truly classical 
edifice was laid in 1664 ; having archbishop Sheldon for 
its founder, and sir Christopher Wren as its architect. 
The whole was finished in five years, at an expense of 
nearly 15,000/.; to which this munificent prelate added 
2000/. to be employed in the purchase of estates for its 
permanent support and repair. Dr. Wills also, the very 
liberal warden of Wadham college, left 1000/. more for 
that purpose. It is capable of containing 3000 persons, 
or more ; its dimensions in the interior being 80 feet 
by 70. The original roof being supposed to be danger- 
ous, a new one was substituted in 1802; the effect of 
which on the outside is very different from that pro- 
duced by the former ; as may be seen by comparing it 
with Loggan's view. The interior was repaired, cleaned, 
and restored, in the year 1826 ; so that it is now seen 
in all its original beauty k . 

Public Lectures. — Our review of the academical 
and scholastic history of the university obviously sug- 
gests the propriety of a brief account of the successive 
foundations of lectures and professorships. 

Of the 'laureated lectures' of king Alfred's days, as 
they are styled by Wood, little can be expected to be 
said, as little can be known with any certainty ; though 
a Divinity lecture is asserted to have been read by St. 
Neot ; and St. Grymbald, who succeeded him, is re- 

k See an account of the portraits and other embellishments of the 
interior in the Oxford Guide of 1834. A description of the curious 
emblematic ceiling, with a plate engraved by Burghers, explanatory 
of the geometrical design and construction of the roof, may be seen in 
Plot's Oxfordshire, ch. IX. p. 154. 

c 4 


ported to have read the same in the presence of Alfred 
and his nobles. Grammar and Rhetoric are the depart- 
ments assigned by antiquaries to Asser of St. David's ; 
who himself mentions the School of king Alfred in his 
biography of that monarch. Twyne reports, that Logic, 
Music, and Arithmetic, were taught by John, a monk of 
St. David's ; but if he interpreted the Logic of Aristotle 
and Averroes in Oxford, as it is stated, there must be 
some anachronism, or mistake of the name 1 ; for Averroes 
flourished in the latter part of the 12th century. Geo- 
metry and Astronomy were taught by another monk of 
the same name and monastery, according to some ; 
others suppose him to be the same with the former; 
whilst by Leland he is called * Joannes monachus ex 
Saxonia transmarina oriundus;' that is, ' a native of Old 
Saxony ;' probably to distinguish him from others of 
that name. One of the most eminent Lecturers in Di- 
vinity after the Norman conquest was Robert Pulleyne, 
who came from the city of Exeter to Oxford in the 
latter part of the reign of Henry I. ' He for five years 
daily taught in the Schools, and on every Lord's day 
preached God's word to the people. Multitudes came 
to hear his doctrine, profiting thereby so exceedingly, 
that in a short space the university proceeded in their 
old method of exercises, which were the age before very 
seldom or rarely performed" 1 . ' According to this 'old 
method,' there were two classes or kinds of Lectures. 
The most important were called ' Cathedrales' or ' Statse;' 

1 Great confusion arises, not only from the number of persons of 
the same name, but also from the variety of appellations used to dis- 
tinguish the same person ; as Joannes, Scotus, Erigena, Patricius 
Monachus, &c. 

m V. Wood's Annals ap. Gutch, B. I. p. 142; and the authorities 
quoted in the margin. 


that is, such as were delivered from a professor's chair, 
* ex cathedra/ and at stated times : the others were 
called ' Ordinarise ;' that is, such as were enjoined to be 
delivered by every inceptor in each faculty for two 
years. In the former department the names of Roger 
Hoveden, in the reign of Henry II ; John Blound, or 
Blount, in that of Henry III ; John Wycleve, or Wic- 
cliffe, about the latter end of Edward III ; Thomas 
Walden ; and others of the reign of Henry V. are par- 
ticularly recorded. When the inceptors became very 
numerous, ten were at length selected by the proctors, 
in behalf of the rest, to superintend the ordinary lectures, 
with reference to the seven liberal and three philoso- 
phical arts and sciences ; and to these ten n was paid a 
stipend collected from those who were excused from 
reading. In process of time endowments were bestowed 
on the university for the promotion of particular branches 
of literature and science ; but the collections still con- 
tinued for unendowed lectures, such as Grammar, Rhe- 
toric, Logic, and Metaphysics. Hence the term ' Culets.' 
At first a common chest was provided, as in the 
reign of Henry VI, wherein money, books, utensils, and 
all things necessary for the lectures were deposited. 
Soon afterwards king Edward IV. founded a Theo- 
logical Lecture ; but what became of it does not 
appear ; though it probably led to the endowment of the 
lady Margaret professorship, so called from Margaret 
countess of Richmond, mother to king Henry VII. 

n This accounts for the ten schools into which abbot Hokenor- 
ton's building in 1439, mentioned before, was divided. 

Her epitaph in Westminster abbey was written by Erasmus ; for 
which he received a reward of twenty shillings. See a full ac- 
count of this excellent foundress, and of her benefactions to both uni- 


Cardinal Wakey followed; who, with those enlarged views 
which he always entertained, gradually instituted lectures 
in Divinity, Law, Medicine, Philosophy, Mathematics, 
Greek, Rhetoric, and Humanity p ; but, incurring a pre- 
munire before they were confirmed by certain forms and 
circumstances of law, he fell from his high estate, and all 
his projected endowments fell with him. His roval 
master, nevertheless, not only adopted the cardinal's col- 
lege as his own, but condescended in his bounty to provide 
what was then deemed sufficient allowance for four of 
those seven lectures which Wolsey intended to have set- 
tled ; substituting also a fifth for Hebrew. To be im- 
partial to both universities, he did the same for Cam- 
bridge. The whole sum annually settled amounted only 
to 400/. The Greek professor at Oxford is still limited 
to his 40/. per annum ; the other four regius professor- 
ships received additional endowments in the reign of 
James the First q . Another regius professorship was 

versities, in Wood's Second Book, p. 825 ; and in a scarce tract 
published by way of preface to her funeral sermon, reprinted in 1708. 
The editor was Thomas Baker of St. John's college, Cambridge ; 
whose collection of MSS. to illustrate the history and antiquities of 
that university amounts to 39 volumes in folio, and 3 in quarto. He 
rivalled the labours of Wood and Hearne in collecting and transcrib- 
ing, but he does not appear to have published much. 

p Four of these were regularly delivered, in the years 1521 and 
1522, in the refectory of Corpus Christi college. A tower begun at 
the east end of the hall at Christ Church, where now the lobby and 
staircase stand, was intended to contain lecture rooms either for these 
public lectures, or for the private lectures of his new college. See 
other interesting particulars in Wood's Second Book, p. 834. et seqq. 

^ It is not generally known, that the express design of the act of 
1 Edward VI. c. XIV, for dissolving chantries collegiate, &c, was to 
convert them ' to good and godly uses ; as in erecting of grammar 
schools — the further augmenting of the universities — and better pro- 
vision for the poor and needy,' &c. See ' Statutes at large.' 


founded by George I, in 1 724, and confirmed by George 
II, in 1728 ; the object of which is explained in the ab- 
stract which we have subjoined in a note below r . 

Of the two Lectures in Physic founded here by the 
celebrated Lynacre, which proved to be only temporary, 
we have already given a slight account 8 . The next in 
order were those two noble lectures, or professorships, 
for Geometry and Astronomy, established and en- 
dowed for ever by sir Henry Savile, knight, sometime 

r We insert the following abstract of this endowment for the infor- 
mation of those who may not hitherto have sufficiently considered the 
nature of it ; particularly as it seems to coincide in some respects 
with the object which sir Robert Taylor had in view in his late muni- 
ficent bequest for ' erecting a proper edifice and establishing a founda- 
tion for the teaching and improving the European languages,' &c. : — 

' The universities — designed for a perpetual supply and succession 
of persons qualified for services of state as well as of the church, for 
embassies, &c, with sufficient knowledge of modern languages to speak 
and write them correctly and intelligibly, that the youth of the nation 
may not too soon be sent abroad or consigned to foreign teachers. 
The professor to be a master of arts, bachelor of law, or any higher 
degree, and of good reputation. The crown to appoint 20 students to 
attend the professor and to be instructed gratis, by such foreign 
teachers as the professor shall provide, of whom there are to be at the 
least two. The professor once at least in every term to read a public 
lecture on the method of studying Modern History, to the 20 scholars 
and others statutably expected to attend such lectures in the schools. 
The 20 scholars to attend the professor to and from the schools. The 
professor for neglect of duty liable to such mulcts as the other pro- 
fessors ; his stipend 400/. per annum, to be paid half yearly. The 
professor and foreign teachers to make a report once every year to the 
king's secretary of state of the proficiency of the 20 scholars, that the 
negligent may be removed, and appointments found in the wav of 
reward for the diligent and attentive. The professors, &c. so to make 
their appointments as in no manner to interfere with the other uni- 
versity exercises.' 

s See our Memorials of the Botanic garden, and Wood's Annals, 
IT. 862, 3. 


warden of Merton college, and afterward provost of 
Eton. The statutes which regulate them were given by 
himself Aug. 10, 1619, and confirmed in convocation on 
the 16th of the same month. This truly great and 
learned man read lectures in Geometry for some time 
in his own person, first in the Divinity School, and then 
in the proper School of Geometry. These were published 
in Oxford in 1621. In 1618 sir William Sedley of 
Aylesford in Kent, knt. and bart., bequeathed by will 
20007. to purchase lands for the endowment of a lec- 
ture in Natural Philosophy, which took effect in 
1622 ; such lands of the annual value of 120/. being 
bought at Waddesdon in Buckinghamshire. Sir William 
had been educated at Hart hall. About the same time 
Thomas White, D. D., first of Magdalene hall, but after- 
wards prebendary of St. Paul's, canon of Christ Church 
and of Windsor, and treasurer of Salisbury, gave the 
manor of Langdon Hills in Essex, by deed enrolled June 
20, 1621, for an annual stipend of 100Z. to a reader in 
Moral Philosophy; to be changed at the termination 
of every quinquennium 4 , unless some urgent reason 
should induce the electors, who are the vice-chancellor 
and the dean of Christ Church for the time being, with 
the presidents of Magdalene and St. John's, and the two 

1 A similar rule was adopted afterwards by the founder of the 
Poetry Lecture ; by Dr. Rawlinson, more strictly, [in his foundation 
of the Anglo-Saxon Professorship ; and by Mr. Drummond, in his 
Professorship of Political Economy. It is reported to be common in 
the university of Salamanca ; for which Wood quotes ' Possevinus de 
Cultura Ingeniorum, c. 27.' Dr. White gives the reason ; which is, in 
order to produce a greater number of persons, ' qui huic muneri suf- 
fecturi, ac pares futuri sint.' Vid. Appendix Statutorum, p. 39, 
4to. Oxon. 1768. 


proctors, to continue the same reader for ten years : but 
in no case beyond. 

In the following year the celebrated Camden gave the 
manor of Bexley in Kent to the university upon trust, 
to maintain for ever one reader, who was to be called 
1 The Reader of Histories.' This is now generally 
styled the ' Camden professorship of ancient history/ to 
distinguish it from that of modern history. The estate 
was valued at 400/. per annum ; but, being let on a 
renewable lease for 99 years, the professor was to receive 
therefrom an annual stipend of 140/. 

The endowment of a Lecture in Anatomy was first 
proposed by Richard Tomlins, esq., of Westminster, in 
the year 1623, with a yearly stipend of 25/., but this 
was increased in 1 638 by a donation of about 500/. more 
from the founder of the lecture ; with which sum seve- 
ral parcels of land were purchased at Bicester for the 
better security and augmentation of the stipend 11 . 

Dr. William Heather, of the royal chapel of Charles I, 
who accumulated his degrees in music here, May 17, 
1622, by deed bearing date a short time before his death 
in 1627, gave a rent-charge or annuity of 16/. 6s. 8d. y 
secured on lands in Chiselhurst, Kent, to advance |the 
theory and practice of music by the appointment of a 
master and lecturer, or professor; the master to be 
nominated by the vice-chancellor for the time being, the 
dean of Christ Church, the warden of New college, and 
the presidents of Magdalene and St. John's ; these four 
colleges having choirs. In the year 1780 the music 
school was fitted up by Mr. Wyatt, at a considerable 

u A readership in Anatomy was also founded by Dr. Matthew Lee 
of Christ Church, about the year 1 750 ; now held by the worthy Re- 
gius Professor of Medicine. 


expense, under the superintendence of Dr. Philip Hayes, 
who was then professor. 

In 1636, archbishop Laud established an Arabic pro- 
fessorship ; Edward Pococke, the celebrated traveller, 
being the first reader appointed ; to whom he gave an 
annual salary of 40/. Four years afterwards he endowed 
the said lecture with lands in the parish of Bray, in 
Berkshire. The professor is elected by the presidents of 
Magdalene and St. John's, with the wardens of Merton, 
New College, and All Souls'. Another, called ' The lord 
almoner's reader in Arabic,' is appointed by the lord 
almoner for the time being, and the stipend paid from 
the almonry fund. 

Of the Botanical Professorship, founded about 
this time, we have already given an ample account in 
our memorials of the Physic Garden. 

The professorship of Poetry was founded by Henry 
Birkhead, D. C. L., a barrister of the Inner Temple, 
sometime of Trinity college, and afterwards fellow of 
All Souls' : the professor to be elected by the members 
of convocation for five years : but at the expiration of 
that period he may be reelected for five years more. 
The first professor was Joseph Trapp, M. A., fellow of 
Wadham college, and D. D. by diploma, elected in 1708. 
He has been succeeded by some of the most eminent 
names in the university. 

From that time to the present a host of benefactors 
have arisen, who seem to have vied with each other in 
bestowing on the university such proofs of their attach- 
ment and generosity as might conduce to the extension 
and variety of the studies to be pursued here ; reviving 
its original character of a ' Generale Studium,' and afford- 
ing every opportunity of improvement from public and 


private lectures, professorial and tutorial. Lest an ex- 
clusive attention to classical literature and science should 
lead to the neglect of our own national antiquities, 
Dr. Rawlinson of St. John's college, about the middle of 
the last century founded and endowed an Anglo-Saxon 
professorship. Charles Viner, esq., in 1755, left 12,000/. 
with the laudable view of promoting the study of the 
common law of England, by establishing not only a pro- 
fessorship in that department, but also so many fellow- 
ships and scholarships as the produce of his legacy may 
be deemed capable of supporting. By the will of the 
earl of Lichfield, chancellor of the university, who died 
in 1772, a fund was created for the delivery of clinical 
lectures at the RadclifFe Infirmary, for the instruction of 
the students in medicine. In 1803, Dr. George Aldrich, 
a physician of the county of Nottingham, founded three 
professorships ; one in Anatomy, another in the practice 
of Medicine, and a third in Chemistry. During the 
regency of George IV. the readers in Experimental Phi- 
losophy, in Mineralogy, and Geology, were honoured 
with three separate grants from the crown ; in 1810, 
1813, and 1818. In 1825, Henry Drummond, esq., of 
Albury Park, Surrey, formerly of Christ Church, en- 
dowed a professorship of Political Economy, with a 
yearly rent-charge on his estate of 100/. John Boden, 
esq., a colonel in the East India Company's service, be- 
queathed the whole of his property to the university, to 
found a professorship of the Sanscrit language ; the re- 
gulations of which, according to a prepared scheme, 
were confirmed by a decree of chancery in 1830. 

In addition to these encouragements, university scho- 
larships have been founded in almost every department ; 
some even by very excellent persons now living : for 



the minute particulars of which, as well as the regula- 
tions concerning them, we must refer to the Oxford 
calendars which are annually printed. To the same au- 
thority we must also refer for an account of the officers 
of the university, and all other matters, which from the 
very nature of this work, and the limits prescribed to it, 
are unavoidably omitted, or briefly stated. 



duke Humphrey's library, 1566; from the drawing 


Bodleian Library. 

DEFORE we enter into a description of this princely 
repository of books and manuscripts, it will be proper to 
give some account of the libraries which preceded it. 

Lisle's Library. We are indebted to the manu- 
script Collections of Nicholas Bishop, cited by Anthony 
a Wood, for the preservation of the name of the first 
donor of books to the university, in the early part of the 
13th century. This was Roger Lisle, or De Insula, 
dean of York ; who gave several copies of the Bible * to 
be used by the scholars of Oxford under a pledge* 1 .' 

a Hist, and Antiq. by Gutch, vol. II. part ii. p. 910. It appears from 
the researches of Browne Willis, that this Roger de Insula, the same 
who is mentioned by Le Neve as chancellor of the diocese of Lincoln, 
was made dean of York about 1221, and died in 1230; or, as some 
accounts state, in 1235. 


The place of custody for these literary treasures was 
then the old chancel of St. Mary's church, now the uni- 
versity engine-house, which was also used as the congre- 
gation-house so early as 1201. Here, or in some of the 
many chapels belonging to that church, the books given 
by different benefactors remained about two centuries, 
locked up in chests, or chained upon desks, as the custom 
then was. 

Cobham's Library. About the year 1320, Thomas 
Cobham, bishop of Worcester, having given his books to 
the university, made preparations for building a new 
library b over the old congregation-house before men- 
tioned ; but as he died before the completion of the 
work, and some claims were interposed by Oriel college 
as rectors of the church, matters were not finally ad- 
justed till the year 1409 c ? when a composition was made 

b Some remains of bishop Cobham's work may still be traced in the 
blank space behind the east end of the present law school, a partition 
being made to reduce the room to a rectangular form. See also our 
view of the south side of the old congregation-house in the account 
of St. Mary's parish. The windows on the north side are more 
modern ; being repaired at the same time with those of Adam de 
Brom's chapel. 

c In the mean time Richard de Bury, otherwise Angervyle, bishop 
of Durham, who died in 1345, very opportunely left all his books, 
' more than all the bishops in England had then in their custody,' 
according to Wood, to the end that the students of Durham college 
and of the whole university might, under certain conditions, make 
use of them. This was called ' Angervyle's library ;' and the books 
were kept in chests for many years, under the custody of several 
scholars deputed for that purpose ; until a library being built in 
Durham college ' temp. Hen. IV,' as Wood states, when the college 
was quadrangularly finished, about the same time with Rede's library 
at Merton, the said books were there deposited in chains in certain 
pews or studies. There they remained till the dissolution of that 
house, and for some years after ; when king Edward's visitors, in 
their hasty and ill-directed zeal against superstition, issued injunctions 


between the contending parties, and several persons of 
the highest rank interested themselves in giving effect to 
bishop Cobharn's bequest, setting up pews and furniture, 
glass windows, &c. ; king Henry IV. and his four sons, 
with several bishops, being mentioned among the contri- 
butors. To add greater solemnity and security to these 
transactions and bequests, a chaplain or keeper was ap- 
pointed with a regular salary ; who, among other things, 
was to celebrate certain masses as St. Catharine's altar, 
which was near the old staircase leading from the east 
side of the tower to the said library, now the law school. 
This library, however, did not continue to be used as 
such beyond the year 1480 : when duke Humphrey's 
being finished, the books were removed into that splen- 
did receptacle, which afterwards served as the principal 
groundwork of sir Thomas Bodley's structure. 

Duke Humphrey's Library. The history of this 
building, with that of the Schools adjoining, has been 
very clearly and accurately stated in Wood's second di- 
vision of his great work, in which he treats of the local 
antiquities of the university d . The origin of it was 
this. When the monastic orders had established them- 
selves in Oxford, having schools and libraries of their 

for their removal ; and though some are said to have found their way 
into duke Humphrey's library, and others into the library of Balliol 
college, yet these and all other libraries in Oxford were subject to 
the same inquisitorial havoc and spoliation. By a decree of con- 
vocation, Jan. 25, 1555-6, certain persons were appointed to sell the 
very benches and desks of duke Humphrey's library ; so that it 
remained empty till Bodley's time. The value of these repositories 
of ancient lore may be estimated by some incidental notes taken of 
their contents by Leland, and preserved in his Collectanea. 

d See the whole of the second book of "his ■ History and Antiqui- 
ties ;' to which very valuable additions have been made by the late 
Mr. Gutch, and continued to the year 1796. 

B 2 


own, they induced many secular clerks and scholars to 
perform their theological exercises, as well as to attend 
the usual lectures, within the limits of their respective 
houses, or in buildings belonging to them. At length 
the university, finding considerable inconvenience to arise 
from such practices, resolved to erect a separate and dis- 
tinct school for Divinity on a large scale, worthy of the 
transcendent importance of that faculty, and in a central 
situation near the other schools in School-street, for the 
accommodation of all. For this purpose the present 
site, then a void space of ground, was obtained of the 
master and scholars of Balliol college, in 1427 ; and the 
university having, after many applications, received con- 
tributions from various persons, especially from Hum- 
phrey duke of Glocester, ' whose liberality was so con- 
siderable that he is styled the founder of the said 
school V they not only accomplished this work, but pro- 
ceeded to build another story over it for a library. 
This was about the year 1445, as appears from a com- 
plimentary letter to the duke written in that year from 
the university ; in which the title of founder is again 
offered to him for this part of the building : and not with- 
out reason ; for he not only supplied them with moneys 
during the progress of the work, but at his death, in 
1447, he left them 100/. with many choice and valuable 
manuscripts f . The completion of the work, neverthe- 
less, must be referred to a much later period : in conse- 
quence of the interruptions which it experienced from 
various causes. It was at length finished, in 1480, in 
a much more elaborate and splendid manner than was 

e Wood ap. Gutch, book II. p. 776 ; and Lib. Bedellorum Oxon. 
MS. in Mense Febr. there quoted. 

f See Warton's Hist, of Eng. Poetry, II. 45, et seqq. 


at first contemplated ; particularly in the buttresses, the 
' apparatus turricularum,' the water-table, the cornices, 
&c. of the exterior of the Divinity school ; and the bold 
pendents, niches, arms, and imagery of the sculptured 
roof of the interior^. The upper story of this building, 
which constitutes the division of the work called duke 
Humphrey's library, though much plainer, is executed 
in an elegant, substantial, and appropriate style : with 
which sir Thomas Bodley's work at the east end has 
been made to harmonize, both above and below, in a 
better manner than might have been expected, and in a 
style much preferable to the opposite end, finished after 
his death, between the years 1634 and 1640. The latter 

£ There were many contributors after duke Humphrey's death. 
Among others, the executors of his uncle, cardinal Beaufort, and 
archbishop Morton ; with the two Kemps, uncle and nephew ; whose 
arms are carved in various parts of the roof. See Wood's Annals ap. 
Gutch, II. II. 776, et seqq. To do justice to this edifice in detail, 
or rather to attempt it, a distinct volume would be required. Such 
a volume may perhaps be expected, if duly encouraged, from Mr. W. 
Caveler, architect ; who has undertaken to continue the splendid and 
scientific work of the late Mr. Pugin. We shall probably have occa- 
sion to return to the subject again when we speak of the Schools 
generally, and of the Theatre ; to which latter building an approach 
was made by sir Christopher Wren, for the sake of public processions, 
by constructing a doorway under one of the windows of the divinity 
school. Though the difference of the workmanship is very striking 
on a close inspection, yet it is rather creditable to the skill of sir 
Christopher, that no architect or historian has hitherto noticed the 
fact. The commencement of sir Thomas Bodley's work may be easily 
traced at the termination of the last buttress at the north-east angle ; 
where probably the first stone was laid. The additions to the but- 
tresses on the south side, constructed by sir Christopher Wren, for 
the support of the old work, called duke Humphrey's library, may be 
seen in our vignette at the end, though partly concealed by ivy. The 
buttresses on the north side, being firmer, are fortunately left in 
their original state ; though these, by mistake, have been sometimes 
ascribed to sir Christopher. Vid. Oxoniana ; vol. III. 12°. 


is generally called the Selden part of the library, from 
the very valuable collection of books deposited there by 
the executors of the celebrated John Selden ; though 
many other collections also occupy that portion of the 
structure 11 . 


Sir Thomas Bodley. — This illustrious benefactor 
to the university and to the whole literary world, de- 
scended from the ancient family of the Bodleighs of 
Dunscomb, near Crediton, was born at Exeter, March 2, 
1544-5. His father, John Bodley, of the same city, 
about twelve years afterwards, removed with his family 

h Under this part is the present convocation-house, with its apo- 
dyterium, in which the chancellor's court is held. This structure 
was begun in 1634, and finished in 1640. The interior presents one 
of the many examples of fanwork tracery in groined ceiling, which 
abound in Oxford ; but are rarely to be seen elsewhere of so late a 
construction. We have already noticed them at Christ Church, St. 
John's, &c. The opposite end had been designed, and commenced in 
the lifetime of sir Thomas Bodley. The first stone was laid in one 
of the north angles, July 16, 1610, and it was finished soon after the 
founder's death, in 1613. The ' vaulted walk,' or proscholium of 
the divinity school, was executed by J. Acroide and the Bentleys 
who came from York with Holt. The groining of the roof is formed 
on the model of the broad archway at Merton ; except the arms of 
Bodley and other ornaments of sculpture at the intersections. 


to Geneva, to avoid the persecution of queen Mary's 
reign : but on the accession of the protestant Elizabeth 
in 1558 he returned to England, and settled in London. 
Young Bodley had not been idle during his short stay 
at Geneva. He frequented public lectures ; and heard 
Chevalerius on the Hebrew tongue, Beroaldus on the 
Greek, Calvin and Beza on Divinity. He had the ad- 
vantage also of domestic instructors in the house of 
Philibertus Saracen us, a learned physician, where he 
boarded ; and here Robert Constantine, the celebrated 
author of the Greek Lexicon, read Homer to him. Here 
probably he laid the foundation of that future edifice of 
literary fame, and imbibed that love of books, which 
afterwards distinguished him among collectors as a se- 
cond Philobiblos. At the age of fourteen or fifteen he 
was admitted at Magdalene college, where Dr. Hum- 
phrey, afterwards president, was his tutor. He became 
bachelor of arts in 1563, and master in 1566. In the 
mean time he was elected fellow of Merton college, where 
he continued several years to read a public lecture in the 
hall on the study of Grecian literature, which had been 
much neglected in the university. In 1569 he served 
the office of junior proctor 1 ; John Bereblock, then fellow 
of Exeter college, being his colleague : whose view of 
duke Humphrey's library, presented to queen Elizabeth 
by Neele, we have given in our first page. 

From 1576 to 1580 sir Thomas employed himself in 
travelling through France, Germany, and Italy ; and, 
though he then returned to college, yet he was after- 

1 Sir Thomas supplied the place of university orator for a consi- 
derable time after ; probably for Arthur Atye, who was fellow of 
the same college, afterwards knighted by king James I. being then 
secretary to the earl of Leicester, principal of St. Alban's hall, &c. 


wards employed by queen Elizabeth in various important 
services both at home and abroad till the year 1597 : 
about which time, having arrived at the age of 53, he 
resolved to take his ■ full farewell of state employments, 
and set up his staff at the library door in Oxford ; being 
thoroughly persuaded,' as he tells us himself, * that he 
could not busy himself to better purpose, than by re- 
ducing that place, which then in every part lay ruined 
and waste, to the public use of students^.' He accord- 
ingly in the same year commenced his great undertaking ; 
and ' set himself a task,' says his friend Camden, ' which 
would have suited the character of a crowned head.' The 
letters of sir Thomas on this subject, and the minute par- 
ticulars of his progress in the work, though very inter- 
esting, are too well known to need repetition here. 
During the remainder of his life, though daily watching 
and providing for the permanent prosperity of his enter- 
prise, he resided chiefly in retirement at Parsons' Green, 
Fulham : but he died at his house in London, Jan. 
28, 1612-13, in the 68th year of his age; having sur- 
vived his wife a little more than a year and a half k . 
As soon as the death of this * Ptolomy of the age,' as he 
is styled by Wood, was announced to the university, pre- 

j See Wood's Annals by Gutch, P. II. 

k She was married to sir Thomas in 1585 ; being at that time the 
rich widow of a person of the name of Ball. Her father was a Mr. 
Carew, of Bristol, without doubt related to the Carews of Devonshire. 
The name of Ball also occurs among the ' Worthies of Devon.' The 
following epitaph on this lady, composed by sir Thomas Bodley him- 
self, is preserved in Stow's Survey of London, fol. 1633, p. 416, from 
her momument against the north wall of the chancel of St. Bartholo- 
mew's church ; and is well worthy of being reprinted here : 









paratious were made for the removal of the body from 
his house in St. Bartholomew's, in order to its interment 
in Merton college chapel ; which he had himself desired 
in his will. The particulars of the solemnity, which the 
university endeavoured to render in every respect worthy 
of so distinguished a benefactor, are minutely detailed by 
Wood in his historical works 1 . 

Sir Thomas Bodley, though he did not live to see the 
completion of any very great portion of that vast plat- 
form of building, which he had projected in conjunction 
with sir Henry Savile and sir John Bennet, had yet the 
satisfaction of seeing his whole design in a fair way to 
be fulfilled™: and even so early as 1602 more than 2000 
choice volumes had been deposited in the library and re- 

1 Annals, vol. II. p. 313; ed. Gutch ; Latin copy, p. 320. from 
Reg. Actorum Coll. Merton, p. 244. See also Prince's Worthies of 
Devon, ed. 1810. 4°. Lond. p. 98. To which may be added, for more 
minute particulars respecting this illustrious benefactor : — Bodleio- 
mnema ; seu carmina et orationes in obitnm ejus. Oxon. 1613. 4°. 
His Life, written by himselfe. Oxford, 1647. 4°. Oratio funebris in 
obitum ejus; edit, a Gul. Batesio. Lond. 1681. (Select Lives by 
Dr. Bates, p. 416.) His Remains; called Reliquise Bodleianse ; con- 
taining his Life, the First Draught of the Statutes of the Publick 
Library, and a Collection of Letters to Dr. James, &c. 8°. Lond. 
1703. Published by Hearne. From these sources most of his bio- 
graphers have derived their materials. There is a portrait, a bust, and 
a silver medal of sir Thomas Bodley ; with portraits of some of the 
librarians and benefactors ; of which a minute account is given by 
Mr. Gutch. The medal is here engraved, p. 6, from the Freke 

m The confidence which he felt in the prospect is expressed in the 
following terms : ' The project is cast ; and whether I live or dye, it 
shall be, God willing, put in full execution.' Life, &c. p. 15. His 
anxiety for the proper execution of the work is evident from his let- 
ters to Dr. James ; in one of which he says, ' I had rather cast it 
down, than that it should stand with any palpable faults.' Letter 
CXCI. Remains, p. 311. 


duced into a catalogue". On the eighth of November in 
that year there was a solemn procession from St. Mary's 
church to the library, for the purpose of opening it, and 
dedicating it to the use of the university ; and that day 

n This catalogue, comprising the manuscripts as well as printed 
books, was compiled by the first keeper of the library, Thomas James, 
M. A. fellow of New college, who was appointed by sir Thomas 
Bodley himself. It was printed at Oxford in 1605, in quarto. A se- 
cond edition with an appendix was also published by James in 1620. 4°. 
A third catalogue, containing only the printed books, was published 
in 1674 by Dr. Thomas Hyde, then principal librarian; and another 
of the manuscripts was printed in 1697. In the year 1738 it was 
found necessary to print a full catalogue in two thick volumes folio. 
So much have the contents of the library been increased since, that a 
considerable number of separate catalogues have been printed at dif- 
ferent times from the year 1788 to 1834 inclusive. Some time must 
still elapse before the completion of the new catalogue of the whole, 
which is in the press, and which is to be in three volumes folio. In 
the mean time, an account of those which have already appeared may 
be found useful. 

Catalogus Codd. MSS. Orientalium Bibliothecse Bodleianse a J. Uri. 
1788. fol. Partis secundae volumen primum, ab Alexandro Nicoll, 
A. M. 1821. fol. Partis secundse volumen secundum, Arabicos com- 
plectens, edidit E. B. Pusey, S. T. B. 1835. folio. 

Catalogus Codicum MSS. et Impressorum cum Notis MSS. olim 
D'Orvillianorum, qui in Bibliotheca Bodleiana adservantur. 1806. 4°. 

Catalogus MSS. E. D. Clarke. Pars prior. Inseruntur Scholia in- 
edita in Platonem et in Carmina Gregorii Nazianzeni. 1812. 4°. Pars 
posterior, MSS. Orient, complectens. Ed. Alex. Nicoll, A. M. 1815. 4°. 

Catalogue of Books bequeathed to the Bodleian Library by R. 
Gough, esq. 1814. quarto. 

Catalogus MSS. Borealium, prsecipue Islandicse Originis, qui nunc 
in Bibl. Bodl. adservantur. Auctore Finno Magno Islando. 1832. 4°. 

Catalogus Dissertationum Academicarum quibus nuper aucta est 
Bibliotheca Bodleiana. fol. 1834. 

, Catalogue of early English Poetry, and other miscellaneous Works, 
illustrating the British Drama, collected by Edmond Malone, esq., 
and now preserved in the Bodleian Library, fol. 1836. 

Catalogues of the books added to the Bodleian Library in each of 
the respective years from 1825 to 1834 inclusive are also printed in 
folio, and continued annuallv. 


being afterwards appointed for the annual visitation of 
the library, Dr. John Morris, canon of Christ Church, 
and regius professor of Hebrew, left 5/. per annum to be 
bestowed on a student of that house for an oration in 
praise of sir Thomas Bodley, to be delivered on the occa- 
sion. In the 2nd of king James I. a charter of mortmain 
being obtained for the endowment, sir Thomas, who had 
been lately honoured with knighthood by that monarch, 
is there styled and declared to be the worthy founder 
thereof. In that capacity he left statutes for the regula- 
tion of the library, which are still extant in his own 
handwriting : to which the University has superadded 
and substituted others, according to the change of times 
and circumstances ; in compliance with the wishes of the 
founder himself, expressed in his letters. 

Benefactors have since increased so rapidly, and the 
contributions in printed books and manuscripts have been 
multiplied to such an extent, that it would require a vo- 
lume to designate the donors and the particulars of their 
respective benefactions. They are specified with tolera- 
ble fulness and accuracy, and in chronological order, in 
Wood's account of the library ; which has been continued 
by Mr. Gutch, assisted by the late librarian, Mr. Price, 
to the year 1796„ The first great accession to sir Thomas 
Bodley's collection was that of William earl of Pembroke, 
chancellor of the university, in 1629 ; who for about 700/. 
purchased several hundreds of valuable Greek manu- 
scripts from Francis Baroccio , a Venetian gentleman. 
These were followed in 1633 by nearly the same number 

° Baroccio, whom some call Barocci, was one of the best Greek 
scholars of his time. In lord Bute's library is a curious MS. entitled 
' Leonis Sapientissimi &c. Vaticinia ; a Fr. Baroccio mendis expur- 
gata &c.'— with a Latin translation. Vid. MSS. Bodl. Barocc. 170. 


of volumes, most of them neatly bound, given by sir 
Kenelm Digby ; whose arms are impressed on the covers. 
These were procured chiefly, as were those of the 
earl of Pembroke, through the influence and advice 
of archbishop Laud. The next great benefactor was 
archbishop Laud himself, the worthy successor of the 
earl of Pembroke in the chancellorship ; who at dif- 
ferent times sent to the university 1300 manuscript 
volumes of inestimable value in various languages, par- 
ticularly of the oriental class. These three collections 
were arranged, with suitable inscriptions, on the right 
and left hand of the entrance from the old fabric into 
the new. For more than twenty-four years no other 
volumes occupied this space, with the exception of some 
few which before belonged to the library ; till at length 
the noble collection of the learned Selden, amounting to 
8000 volumes, or more, deposited here by his execu- 
tors, filled the remaining part of the wing. Among 
a host of other benefactors the names of Junius, Mar- 
shall, Hyde, Nathaniel lord Crewe, Tanner, Rawlinson, 
Crynes, Godwyn, &c. may be selected from those of the 
two preceding centuries. Our national literature has 
been since enriched by the donation from lord Sunderlin 
of the late Mr. Malone's collection of early plays, and 
other specimens of ancient English poetry. In the de- 
partment also of topography and antiquities, the library 
of the celebrated Richard Gough, esq. must be considered 
as an invaluable addition : and very recently the univer- 
sity has been favoured in an especial manner by a be- 
quest, which has excited more than usual interest; 
namely, the whole collection of coins, medals, prints and 
drawings, with manuscripts and printed books of extreme 
rarity, the accumulated stores of many years of patient 



research, belonging to the late Mr. Douce. For the re- 
ception of this collection a separate and distinct part of 
these extensive buildings belonging to the university has 
been judiciously appropriated, and a catalogue of the 
valuable contents is now printed. 


In the mean time the university has not been neglect- 
ful of such means as appeared reasonable for increasing 
the funds of the library ; which from the immense sums 
expended on the buildings were necessarily of a limited 
description. Since the year 1780, by making a small 
addition to the fees paid at the matriculation of every 
member, except servitors, and also by an annual contri- 
bution from all those who have taken their first degree, 
a regular supply of several hundred pounds per annum 
has been created for the purchase of books, &c°. In the 
year 1789, a subscription was commenced for procuring 
from the Pinelli and Crevenna sales such of the more 

° This fund was established at the suggestion of sir William Scott, 
the present lord Stowell, and at first it produced only about 400/. 


rare and early editions of the classical authors, as 
were wanting in the university library. Very liberal 
sums were consequently advanced, some in donations, 
others in the shape of loans without interest, both from 
individuals and whole societies p. 

These payments and contributions have enabled the uni- 
versity from time to time to make very considerable addi- 
tions to the treasures of the library. About thirty years 
since was purchased the valuable collection of manuscripts 
and printed books, enriched with manuscript notes, be- 
longing to J. P. D'Orville. In 1809, the Greek and Latin 
manuscripts of the celebrated traveller E.D.Clarke, among 
which is that of the works of Plato which he procured 
from the isle of Patmos, were added to the stores of the 
library : and in 1818 a very valuable accession of ma- 
nuscripts, Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, and Latin, collected 
previously by the Abbati Canonici at Venice. In 1824 
very large purchases were made at the sale of M. Meer- 
m an's library at the Hague ; the regius professor of 
Greek having attended the sale for that special purpose. 
In 1829 the celebrated Rabbinical collection of the Op- 
penheim family, a collection in high repute even in the 
days of J. Christopher Wolfius, and considerably enlarged 
since that time, was purchased at Hamburgh. In 1834 
a very large sum was expended in the purchase of such 
books as the library required from the extensive collec- 
tion of the late Richard Heber, esq. In the same year 
also a collection of academical dissertations, in number 
exceeding fifty thousand, the production of the most 
learned men of foreign universities for the last two cen- 

P An account of the sums subscribed, and of the persons subscrib- 
ing, will be found in the additions to Wood's Annals and Antiquities 
by Mr. Gutch, book II. pp. 949, 950. 


turies, was purchased at Altona. An annual statement 

of the books purchased and of the money expended on 

account of the library, as also of all donations, is printed 

according to statute in the month of November, and a 

copy sent to be deposited in every college library. From 

the statements thus made may be learned the continued, 

and, we may say, almost daily increase of this extensive 


Though a distinct notice of the many portraits in the library may 
seem properly to belong to the general account of the picture gallery, 
yet the original portrait of Bodley by Cornelius Jansen deserves to be 
mentioned here. It was first engraved by Burghers ; and has been 
used as a frontispiece to the catalogue of manuscripts, and to that of 
printed books ; surrounded with the heads of the four great bene- 
factors who succeeded him : William earl of Pembroke, archbishop 
Laud, sir Kenelm Digby, and John Selden, esq. It has been more 
recently engraved in a superior style by Scriven, for the ' Illustrious 
personages of Great Britain by Lodge.' A curious little plate was 
engraved also by Burghers, and used among other embellishments in 
the catalogues, representing the good Duke Humphrey in a kneeling 
posture with his surcoat of arms, &c. ; from a painted window in the 
old church of Greenwich. 

Among the more distinguished librarians it will not be invidious 
to name Dr. Thomas Barlow, some time fellow, afterwards provost of 
Queen's, and bishop of Lincoln, himself a benefactor to the library ; 
Dr. Thomas Hyde, of the same college, and afterwards regius pro- 
fessor of Hebrew ; Dr. John Hudson, first of Queen's, then fellow of 
University college, and afterwards principal of St. Mary Hall ; for 
whose labours the university and the world at large are under per- 
petual obligations. It should also be recorded here, as less known, 
that the Catalogue of 1738 had been chiefly prepared by Joseph 
Bowles, M. A. fellow of Oriel, and librarian from 1719 to 1729. He 
was of the same family with the amiable ' bard of Bremhill ;' being a 
native of Shaftesbury, where he died and was buried. He published 
a Collection of Epitaphs, now become scarce. There is a portrait 
of him, given by Thomas Wright of London, the painter of it. Of 
the other learned persons who have filled this office, and of the por- 
traits of some of them, our limits preclude us from giving any account. 
But many particulars may be seen in the Additions to Wood's Annals 
by Mr. Gutch, vol. II. P. II. pp. 1)51—3. 



1 It is surely unnecessary,' observes Dr. Bliss, ' to re- 
peat the praises of such a man as sir Thomas Bodley, a 
man whose name will only perish with that of his coun- 
try. The obligations which literature owes to the exer- 
tions of this individual can only be estimated by those, 
who have opportunity as well as occasion to consult the 
treasures he bequeathed to the place of his education : 
and it is with a mingled sensation of gratitude and pride, 
that the editor of these Athenje acknowledges the as- 
sistance he receives from the Bodleian Library, an 
institution which he boldly asserts to be the most useful 
as well as the most magnificent in the universe.' (Athene 
Oxonienses ; vol. II. 127-8. New edition, 4°. London, 




The University Press. 

ABOUT twenty years after the art of printing a had 
assumed something like a settled form, it was introduced 
into England by William Caxton, a London merchant, 

a A general sketch of this subject, as far as it relates to Oxford, is 
all which can be given here : the reader who desires particular details 
must consult the Typographical Antiquities of Ames, Herbert, and 
Dibdin ; with other bibliographical works, particularly Dr. Cotton's 
Typographical Gazetteer: though it must be confessed, that a full 
and satisfactory account of all which has been done by the art of 
printing in this place, is still a desideratum in the history of English 


who had attached himself to the service of Margaret 
countess of Richmond, mother of king Henry VII, and 
had travelled on the continent of Europe. By her de- 
sire, seconded by his own personal taste, Caxton con- 
trived to make himself acquainted with the mechanism 
of the art ; and returned from Germany to England pro- 
vided with types, presses, and other requisite materials : 
and as the circumstances of those times rendered it ad- 
visable that the new w mystery' should be exercised in 
connexion with the church, or under its sanction, he 
erected his press in one of the chapels b within Westmin- 
ster Abbey, some say the ' almonry,' and there produced 
the first specimen of English typography about the year 

Admiration of this novel method of abridging tedious 
labour, by a rapid and cheap multiplication of copies of 
such works as were required by the student of every 
class, would naturally invite attempts (especially by the 
clergy, who at this period were the sole depositaries and 
dispensers of all learning) to transfer so valuable an im- 
provement from London to other parts of the kingdom, 
and to erect printing-presses wheresoever they were likely 
to prove useful. Within a very few years after Caxton's 
commencement, this was carried into effect at two places ; 
namely, Oxford and St. Alban's ; each of which was lo- 
cally situated within a reasonable distance from the me- 
tropolis, and in each the clergy were the most efficient 
patrons and promoters of learning. 

Oxford was the earlier of the two in practising the 
' mystery,' as it was then called : for we have a specimen 

b From this circumstance,, when an assembly of the workmen is 
convened in any part of the house it is usual to say, " Let us call a 
chapel ;" that is, " Let us hold a meeting." 


of Oxford workmanship of the year 1478, if not 1468 ; 
while of St. Alban's none is known anterior to 1480. 
Other towns of England were much slower in providing 
themselves with presses. We know of nothing earlier 
than 1509 at York ; Cambridge, 1521 ; Tavistock, 1525 ; 
Canterbury, Ipswich, Worcester, Norwich, &c. began to 
print at periods considerably later. 

It was naturally to be expected, that Oxford, the seat 
of learning during so many ages, would view with in- 
tense anxiety the development of an art, which was 
calculated to exercise so important an influence over the 
whole world ; and that the authorities of the university 
would not be slow in availing themselves of the advan- 
tages, which this great discovery was capable of affording 
to scholars in every department of literature. 

From the little which now remains, we can form no 
accurate estimate of the extent to which the art was 
carried in this university during the fifteenth century; 
not more than eight or ten specimens of that period be- 
ing known, and these not works of any particular im- 
portance or high character, as the reader may judge by 
a short description of them, given in chronological order 
in a note below c . They are all in the Latin language. 

c The first is an Exposition on the Apostles' Creed attributed to 
St. Jerome, (really by Ruffinus,) a small volume in quarto, bearing 
the date of 1468, for which it is said we ought to read 1478. 2. A 
Latin version of the Ethics of Aristotle, 4to, 1479. 3. A Treatise on 
Original Sin, by iEgidius Romanus, 4to, 1479. 4. A Commentary on 
Aristotle's treatise on the Soul, by Alexander de Ales, printed by 
Theodoric Rood of Cologne, 'in alma univ. Oxon.' &c. folio, 1481. 
5. A Commentary on the Lamentations of Jeremiah, by a monk 
named Johannes Latteburius, folio, 1482. 6, A Latin version of the 
Epistles of Phalaris, by L. Aretine, 4to, about 1485. 7- The Pro- 
vincial Constitutions of J. Lyndewood, folio, without date. 8. A 
' Liber Festivals' of the Romish ritual, folio, 1486. Most of these 
appear in Dormer's MS. Catalogue, 1520. 

B 2 


These, with two others not yet described, comprise all 
the certain evidence which we now possess of the success 
and character of Oxford typography during the fifteenth 
century : and even of these volumes a very small num- 
ber of copies have survived to the present day ; the whole 
of which, as might be expected, have found their way 
into public, or some few of the choicest private libraries, 
and are treasured up as morceaux of the highest rarity. 
In point of execution they are creditable to the age, as 
well as to the place, both in respect to presswork and 
paper ; and, generally speaking, have come down to us 
in a good state of preservation. 

Respecting the first of these specimens, the St. Jerome, 
a very interesting question has been raised, which in- 
volves in it two considerable points ; namely, the period 
— and the author — of the introduction of printing into 
England. This question was first agitated about the 
time of the restoration of king Charles II. Full parti- 
culars of it have been stated by several writers, who 
have handled the subject of English typography : and to 
these we must refer all those of our readers, who are 
desirous of obtaining more detailed information on the 
subject than the following brief sketch can be expected 
to supply. 

It being perceived that the St. Jerome bore, clearly 
and without erasure, the date of 1468, in which year 
most certainly William Caxton had not commenced his 
labours, a book was put forth in 1664 by a gentleman of 
Balliol college, named Richard Atkyns, in which the 
honourable post of priority in the art is boldly assigned 
to Oxford ; a printer is found for us, by name Frederick 
Corsellis ; a full account is given of his personal history, 
of the manner in which he was smuggled into Eng- 
land, and of the reasons for which the press was first 


erected in this university rather than in the metro- 

The author of this publication confirms his statements 
by a reference to the authority of a manuscript record, 
said to have been preserved in the archbishop of Canter- 
bury's library at Lambeth. But it is remarkable, that 
many inquiries and diligent searches of late years have 
constantly failed to produce that important record d . 

From 1486 we hear no more of the Oxford press or its 
productions, for a period of thirty years : and even then, 
after the appearance of half a dozen books, in 1517, 1518, 
and 1519, we again meet with a total blank of much 

d It may be noted, that the account of Oxford printing given by 
Antony a Wood, in his Annals of the University under the year 1464, 
appears to be taken almost entirely from the above named publication 
of R. Atkyns. The exact spot in which the earliest of our printers 
exercised their calling has not been satisfactorily ascertained. None of 
the pieces executed before the year 1500 make mention of any street 
or dwelling-place. In 1506 there appears to have been at least a book- 
seller s shop in St. Mary's lane ; known by the sign or * intersignium' 
of St. John the Evangelist's head : and we have already noticed the 
MS. catalogue of John Dormer in 1520 ; who frequently mentions 
his shop in Oxford, and his importation of books from beyond the 
sea. In 1518, John Scolar, the then printer, describes himself as 
' moram trahentem in viculo Sancti Johannis Baptistae.' This phrase, 
for which in vico is used in 1519 by Charles Kyrfeth, the successor of 
Scolar, may seem to denote either St. John's street opposite to 
Merton college, or the adjoining lane, now Magpie lane ; which was 
formerly called Grope lane, and some say Wynkin lane, from Wynkin 
de Worde, the celebrated successor of William Caxton in London ; 
who has been supposed to have carried on the printing business at 
Oxford under the sanction of the authorities of the university. This 
point however requires confirmation. De Worde might, and probably 
did, execute some books for the university, as being the best workman 
of his day ; he may even have had a shop in Oxford for the sale of 
his London publications : but that he actually lived, and printed, in 
this city, can scarcely be assumed upon such evidence only as at pre- 
sent we have before us. See Merton college, p. 30. 

B 3 


longer duration, and are under the necessity of suppos- 
ing the establishment to have been completely dormant 
during sixty-five years of the most important transac- 
tions both in Church and State ; namely, from 1520 to 

It is worthy of remark, that a similar interruption 
appears to have occurred to all the presses established 
throughout the kingdom, with the exception of those of 
London only. Cambridge produced nothing between 
1522 and 1584. St. Alban's was at work only six years, 
from 1480 to 1486 ; then about three or four years, from 
1535 to 1538 ; and was silent for ever afterwards. York 
produced only six or seven publications, none of them 
later than 1530. Tavistock only two, dated 1525 and 
1534. Ipswich was fully employed for the space of one 
year only, 1548. Worcester, for not more than four. Can- 
terbury and Norwich for periods almost equally short. 

It has been surmised by some, that this most curious 
coincidence was mainly attributable to the influence of 
the papal clergy ; who, though they could not openly avoid 
giving countenance to an invention so highly prized by 
the nation, yet bitterly disliked it in their hearts, and 
used every unseen effort to counteract or neutralize its 
effects. This supposition may possibly be correct, yet it 
is not sufficient to account for the entire results ; for 
what influence could Romish priests have had in such 
matters after the accession of queen Elizabeth ? Perhaps 
the reforming spirit of puritanism, which sat like an 
incubus on literature and the arts, and viewed the con- 
tents of all the libraries in the kingdom as monkish 
relics, operated to the discouragement of the printing 
trade. But, whatever may have been the concurrent 
causes, the fact itself is indubitable and well known. 



Late in the reign of Elizabeth, the earl of Leicester, 
being then chancellor of the university, had the good 
sense and spirit to revive and reorganise its typography. 
At his sole expense a new press was erected ; a fit 
person was specially appointed 'printer to the univer- 
sity;' and in the year 1585 came forth the first fruits 
of the establishment, ' Moral Questions upon Aristotle's 
Ethics,' by John Case, fellow of St. John's ; dedicated, 
with great propriety, to the chancellor. From this time 
the academical press was kept in constant work. Joseph 
Barnes, the individual who had been named ' university 
printer,' laboured with great diligence two and thirty 

B 4 


years e in his vocation ; so that before the close of the 
sixteenth century he had published between ninety and a 
hundred pieces by various authors, in English, Latin, 
and Greek ; many of them works of high character, and 
most respectable in their style of execution f . 

During the troubles of Charles the First, that prince 
not only found shelter and supplies from this university, 
even the ancient plate of the colleges being melted down 
for the use of the mint, but the press was likewise 
most actively employed in his behalf. While the king 
resided, and the parliament was holden, at Oxford, nu- 
merous pieces in the shape of letters, proclamations, 
messages, manifestos, &c. immediately relating to the 

e Barnes was succeeded, in 1617, by John Lichfield and James Short, 
who continued together till 1624; though their names do not always 
appear in the books which they printed. William Turner was then 
joined with John and afterwards with Leonard Lichfield, till 1658; 
when we find one A. Lichfield, who printed for the company of 
stationers,, in partnership with Leonard. Hence these typographers to 
the university printed many books with the impress, * Typis Lich- 
fieldianis,' from about this time till long after the commencement of 
the eighteenth century : though Henry Hall also occurs as a printer 
here in 1648, and in conjunction with William Hall afterwards con- 
tinued to print books till 1676. Samuel Clark, M.A, was elected 
' Architypographus,' 14 May, 1658 ; and was succeeded in that office 
by Martin Bold in 1669. Henry Cruttenden printed a book at 
Oxford in 1668, in which he calls himself c one of his Majesty's 
printers.' This probably occasioned the omission of the printer's 
name afterwards in all books imprinted e theatro sheldoniano ; 
e typographeo clarendoniano, &c. ; a custom still observed with 
regard to books printed under the immediate direction of the Dele- 
gates of the Press, e typographeo academico. 

f The first Greek publication from Oxford appears to have been 
some ' Homilies of St. Chrysostom,' executed in the year 1586. The 
earliest Hebrew production of our press was Dr. Pococke's ( Porta 
Mosis,' 4to, 1655 ; Hebrew types having been then procured by the 
university, through the exertions of Dr. G. Langbaine, the learned 
provost of Queen's. 



king's affairs, as well as several pamphlets both in verse 
and prose, written in defence of his cause, were printed 
here ; the university press being then in the hands of 
Leonard Lichfield, by some of whose family the office 
was enjoyed till the reign of George the Firsts 


After the restoration of Charles the Second, when by 
the munificence of archbishop Sheldon the theatre was 
completed, that splendid building was publicly opened 
and presented to the university in a solemn convocation 
on the 9th of July, 1669 ; and the printing-presses be- 
longing to that body were from this time worked therein ; 

S A patent was granted to the university in 1632, empowering 
them to have three printers, with license to print all manner of books 
not forbidden by law: but there is no reason for supposing that 
printing establishments were not still confined to private houses. One 
of these was in the street called ' the Butcher-row/ and was destroyed 
by fire in 1644. It is possible that this accident, combined with 
other circumstances, may have led to the desire of obtaining a sepa- 
rate building, suitable to the academical dignity, and sufficiently large 
for its purposes ; although many years necessarily elapsed before such 
a design could be carried into execution. 



and a room beneath is still used as a warehouse for the 
books printed there and at the Clarendon press. The 
university books therefore long bore on their title-pages 
the words, e theatro sheldoniano 11 . 

Of this establishment the first fruits appeared in a Pin- 
daric ode in praise of the theatre and its founder, by 
Corbet Owen of Christ Church, which was publicly re- 
cited at the abovenamed convocation ; and during a 
period of more than forty years there was a constant 
succession of excellent editions of works in various lan- 
guages, the productions of eminent scholars in all depart- 
ments of literature, which are too well known to the world 
to need particular description. The typographical execu- 
tion, and the extraordinary accuracy of these editions, 
have met with the highest commendations ; and it must 


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'.nil - 





U llBlli i! HI II LDUII .TCBS 


h Or, as in one instance at least, e typographia sheldoniana. 
The Sheldon Theatre is acknowledged on the title-pages of books till 
the year 1759: though the process of printing was carried on chiefly 
at the Clarendon press as soon as that building was completed. 


be allowed that some of the volumes, especially the copies 
printed on large paper, are most elegant specimens of 
the art. 

Still the university was not provided with a specific 
building for the uninterrupted and exclusive exercise of 
its printing business, now greatly increased by the rising 
demands of the public: for the body of the theatre be- 
ing designed and used for other purposes, a small por- 
tion of it only was available for the combined purposes of 
press-room and warehouse. This uncomfortable state of 
things continued until the reign of queen Anne; when the 
copyright of the earl of Clarendon's History of the Rebel- 
lion being presented to the university, the profits arising 
from the sale of copies were applied towards the erection 
of that stately fabric situate on the eastern side of the 
Sheldon theatre, which in just commemoration of that 
illustrious statesman was denominated the clarendon 
press. The whole typographical apparatus having been 
removed to this more commodious building, the new 
printing-house commenced its operations in the month 
of October, 1713 ^ and we may safely appeal to its 
numerous volumes, which for more than a century have 
been in the hands of the reading public, in support of 
the assertion, that no similar establishment ever reflected 
greater credit on a seat of learning, or a kingdom at 
large, than this is allowed to have done on Oxford and 
on the British empire. 

During one hundred and eighteen years the claren- 
don press was constantly and beneficially employed 

1 English antiquaries will be gratified to know, that the first sheet 
worked off was the signature Z in the third alphabet of Leland's 
Collectanea, then in course of publication by Hearne. 



under academical direction ; one half of the building being 
appropriated to the printing of Bibles, Prayer-books, &c, 
agreeably to the privilege conferred on the two univer- 
sities and the king's printer, and the other half devoted 
to works of general literature, of which it poured forth 
an abundant supply. 


At length the enormous and still growing demand for 
books of every kind, which forms so distinguishing a 
feature of the present age, created a necessity for again 
enlarging the effective powers of the academic press, and 
compelled its directors to provide a more ample recep- 
tacle for all their printing machinery and stores, now so 
much increased. As none was found suitable to the pur- 
pose, the university most judiciously applied such funds 
as the Press itself, in a series of years, had accumulated, 
to the erection of a capacious and handsome pile of build- 
ing in the north-western suburb of the city. This now 
bears the appellation of the university printing- 


house ; at which the entire business of its printing has 
been carried on since the month of September, I830 k . 

In early times, for the better encouragement of typo- 
graphy, sovereign princes, who had introduced the newly- 
discovered art into their dominions, took pains to foster 
and protect its exercise by certain grants and privileges, 
conceded either directly by themselves or through some 
delegated magistrate, to such printers as were judged 
worthy to receive this mark of favour. It was a just 
and wisely conceived measure, not more requisite for re- 
straining piracies and invasions of another's right, than 
conducive to the interests of real learning, by preventing 
ignorant pretenders from meddling with matters wholly 
beyond their reach, and depraving or obscuring that 
which they took upon themselves to illustrate. 

There is evidence to shew, that the power of conferring 
such a privilege within the limits of his academical juris- 
diction was possessed and exercised by the chancellor of 
Oxford, more than three hundred years ago. In a book 
printed here by John Scolar, in the year 1518, the 
printer recites an edict of the chancellor under his official 
seal, enjoining that for the period of seven years to come 
no person should venture to print that work, or even 
sell copies of it elsewhere printed, within Oxford and its 
precincts, under pain of forfeiting the copies and paying 
a fine of five pounds sterling, in addition to other penal- 
ties specially named in the instrument itself, for every 
such offence. During the period of censorship through- 
out England, the vice-chancellor was the authorized 
licenser of all books printed at the university. Hence 

k The first sheet worked off at the new press was 2 P of Bishop 
Lloyd's Greek Testament, 12mo. The first English work finished there 
was Barrow's Theological Works, 8 vols. 8vo, 1830. 


his imprimatur ; which is generally seen on the reverse 
of the title-page, though sometimes opposite. 

The university has by statute entrusted the manage- 
ment of its press to a select body of eleven of its 
members, including the vice-chancellor and proctors for 
the time being, who are called " Delegates of the Press.' 
These direct and regulate all its operations, without other 
interference ; unless any special order be given by convo- 
cation, to which all delegates are responsible; and by their 
careful superintendence of its productions, they contri- 
bute to render it a most efficient instrument of diffus- 
ing true religion and sound learning to all parts of the 
world, wheresoever the English language has found its 

The fidelity and accuracy of the books printed under 
their management being generally acknowledged, and 
their style of execution being highly creditable to all 
parties concerned, it appears needless to call attention to 
those points. But the reader will form to himself a very 
imperfect estimate of the value and importance attached 
to the Oxford Press, who permits himself to look only 
at its immediate effects on its own resident members, and 
regards it merely as an instrument for providing a ready 
and correct supply of books for academical study. While 
it satisfactorily effects this, it also performs much more 
important functions. It exercises a salutary influence 
over the whole press of Great Britain ; stimulating it 
by the force of its example, and kindling a spirit of 
generous emulation : and furnishes immense supplies of 
the Holy Scriptures, with a rapidity commensurate with 
the daily increasing wants of the public, and with a cor- 
rectness for which every candid judge and pious Christian 
will not fail to be thankful. 


With respect to the various engraved devices, which are seen to 
adorn the title-pages of many Oxford books, and of which a few 
specimens are here given, it must be remembered, that this kind 
of decoration is not peculiar to any one place or country : it has pre- 
vailed throughout all parts of Europe from the very first invention of 
typography, according to the taste and fancy of the printers. The 
earliest books, it is well known to scholars, had no distinct title-pages 
such as we now use : but it was usual to reserve for the last page of 
the work, the title, date of its completion, or other circumstances, and 
sometimes the cypher, rebus, monogram, emblem, coat of arms, or 
other device ; by which the printer designed to honour either his 
patron or his sovereign, as well as to distinguish the productions of 
his own press. This was usually called the colophon. 

Of these devices bibliographers are acquainted with a very great and 
amusing variety, as might have been expected from the different tastes 
of so many hundred artists who employed them. Collections of these 
have been made and given to the public, but of course including only a 
small portion of the whole. The earliest printers at Mayence, Fust 
and Schoiffer, exhibited at the end of their publications two shields 
charged with armorial bearings, very tastefully worked off in red ink. 
Caxton, our first English typographer, decorated his volumes with a 
coarse and inelegant cypher, which received some improvement under 
his immediate successors. The St. Alban's press, so early as the year 
1483, affixed to its books the armorial ensigns of that abbey. 

At a later period, when title-pages had been introduced, the charac- 
teristic ornament was first repeated, and then transferred entirely to 
the first page from the last ; and almost every printer of eminence 
took to himself a particular device. Thus, the anchor of Aldus, the 
lily of Junta, the olive of Stephens, with the several marks of Coli- 
naeus, Gryphius, Elzevir, &c. are familiar to all scholars. 

No device, of whatever kind, appears on any of the known Oxford 
books executed during the fifteenth century. We are not aware of 
any one earlier than that which is here exhibited in a woodcut as our 
first specimen ; which is found in a work by Walter Burley, of the 
date of 1517- It is an engraving in wood representing the university 
arms in a shield supported by two angels ; but instead of our present 
motto, Dominus illuminatio mea, which was introduced after the re- 
storation of Charles II, we here read Veritas liberabit, Bonitas reg- 
nabit. Our second specimen, taken from books of the seventeenth 
century, presents a device somewhat different, in which the two angels 
appear above, and two fiends below, with the appropriate motto on 
the open book of seven seals : sapientijE et felicitatis : a motto 



which appears in books printed by Joseph Barnes, 1585 — 1617; and 
which was used till about the time of the restoration. 

So long as the university printing was carried on at the Sheldon 
theatre, the greater part, but not all, of the books there executed 
bore on their titles an engraving of that building, as seen in our speci- 
mens, N°. 3 and 4. Of these there were several sizes and varieties, 
on plates both of wood and copper ; chiefly executed by M. Burghers, 
the university engraver, which were in use from about 1674 to 1759. 
The largest, prefixed to the folio editions of Pindar, Thucydides, Cla- 
rendon's Rebellion, and some other works, differed from all the rest, 
and gave representations of some other public buildings, besides the 
theatre itself. No. 5 was the vignette in use, with some slight varia- 
tions, from 1759 to 1830, and represents the Clarendon building some- 
what in perspective ; with a small portion of the schools on one side, 
and of the theatre on the other. This truly Roman edifice was 
erected in 1711 from a design of Sir John Vanbrugh. The portico, 
elevated on a lofty flight of steps, is singularly magnificent; and 
wants only a vista opened into the Parks, by the removal of some 
houses opposite, to render its effect complete. No. 6 shews the eastern 
elevation of the present university printing-house, and is affixed to 
works now in course of publication by the university. The architect 
of this handsome and extensive building was Mr. Daniel Robertson, 
who also restored the front of All Souls' college about the same time. 
The front, or eastern elevation, with the south wing, was commenced 
in 1826, and finished in 1828. The north wing, and the apartments 
on the west for the superintendents, have been since completed under 
the direction of Mr. Blore. 




IN a place like Oxford, where the sciences have been 
cultivated from the earliest period of our civil history, it 
is impossible that practical astronomy should ever have 
been wholly neglected ; and there is one very remarkable 
instance in which the situations are precisely known 
where very early observations have been made. In the 
thirteenth century, the university was crowded with stu- 
dents, and the difficulty of intercourse with distant parts 
of the country kept the senior members in permanent 
residence, while it prevented most of the younger men 
from leaving Oxford even in the vacations. It was 
therefore not unusual in those times for any, who wished 
to apply to a particular pursuit, to seek some quiet re- 
treat in the neighbourhood, where they might be removed 
from the general occupation and excitement. Roger 
Bacon accordingly made many astronomical observa- 



tions on the tower of Sunningwell church, about four 
miles south of Oxford. This, however, though not far 
distant, was sometimes of difficult access, especially in 
winter : the meadows on that side of Oxford are now 
frequently overflowed, but they were then one continued 
swamp, so that Grandpont, where the Thames is crossed 
on the road to Abingdon, extended to a long causey of 
forty arches. On the part, in which it abuts on the 
south bank of the river, there was an archway with a 
tower over it, which was not pulled down till 1779, and 
had acquired from his use of it the name of Friar Bacon's 
study. The Franciscan convent, of which he was a 
member, was in a part of the parish of St. Aldate's, 
which is still called the Friars, and was conveniently 
situated for this station, which is the earliest observatory 
in Oxford of which there is any record. 

When Henry the VUIth established his regius pro- 
fessorships, he made no provision for mathematics or 
physics, and those important branches of science were 
left to the unendowed lecturers till 1619, when sir Henry 
Savile gave the means of regular instruction by his 
foundations for geometry and astronomy. That wise as 
well as noble and liberal man well knew what would be 
most practically useful, and particularly pointed out in 
his statutes a the advantages of astronomical observations. 
He did not live to complete his endowment to the extent 
that he contemplated, but he had consigned to the uni- 
versity the care of providing an observatory 13 : it was 
long, however, before this part of his plan was executed. 
There is in the Savilian library a large collection of in- 
struments which belonged to professor John Greaves, 

a Sect. 2. b ibid. 


and although they are now no longer of any interest, ex- 
cepting as specimens of ancient apparatus, they must 
when new have heen of considerable value. He probably 
used them in the upper room of the tower of the schools ; 
which seems to have been the place, in which the pro- 
fessors of astronomy were then in the habit of observing. 
It was, indeed, in some respects very inconvenient, but 
there was no other situation so well suited to the purpose 
before the beginning of the eighteenth century. 

Dr. Wallis occupied Stable Hall in New College lane c , 
at the end of the cloisters ; and in 1704, the lease of 
it under New College was given by his son to the uni- 
versity, in order that the tenement might be appropri- 
ated to the use of the Savilian professors. There is a 
letter in the Bodleian from Dr. Gregory to Dr. Charlett, 
March 1705, in which he says, ' I hope Mr. Halley 
will prevail so far, as that the university will repair the 
house, and the adding an observatory to the top of it will 
be very convenient and indeed useful to the university, 
and what sir Henry Savile did expect from them, as you 
will see in sect. 2 of his Statutes.' In another letter 
also to Charlett, June 1705, Halley expresses * many 
thanks for repeated favours, as well in what relates to my 
house, wherein I must esteem you my great benefactor d ' 
as for other services. It is very probable therefore that 
the houses were at that time repaired, according to Gre- 
gory's suggestion, and the observatory erected, as seen in 
our woodcuts, on the western part, which was assigned 
to the professor of astronomy. 

c See the woodcut, p. 9, compared with that in p. 4. 
d This part of Halley's communication is printed in " Letters 
written by eminent persons." London, 1813, vol. i. p. 139. 




There is a tradition of this building having been 
erected by Professor Bradley ; but its plan seems to indi- 
cate an earlier date. It was undoubtedly much used by 
that eminent astronomer, but he was from early youth 
accustomed to meridional observation, and would not have 
confined himself to four comparatively small apertures 
towards the four cardinal points, which in fact obliged 
him to set up his transit instrument in one of the back 
windows of the Museum. 

At Dr. H alley's death in 1742, Bradley became astro- 
nomer royal at Greenwich ; and Bliss, who at the same time 
succeeded to the professorship of geometry, established 
an observatory on the part of the city wall, which ex- 
tended from his house to the north-west angle of New 
College cloisters. The rampart was cut away by Dr. 
Smith about 1768, but it was entire in Bliss's time, and 
possibly formed the firmest basis that he could have any 
where procured : his meridian mark was upon All Souls. 

Bradley having died in 1762, was succeeded in his 
professorship at Oxford by Hornsby, who had an ob- 
servatory of his own in Corpus, of which college he was 


fellow; and from a paper of his in the Phil. Trans. e we 
have some interesting particulars respecting the places in 
which the transit of Venus was observed in Oxford in 
1769. Hornsby stationed himself in the upper room 
of the tower of the schools ; Mr. Lucas, fellow of New 
College, and Mr. Clare, fellow of St. John's, were on the 
tower of New College ; and as the phenomenon took 
place in the evening of the third of June, an unfurnished 
room in the infirmary, commanding the north-west, was 
used by Mr. Nikitin a Russian, then of St. Mary Hall, 
and Mr. Williamson f of St. Alban Hall. Observations 
were also made, probably in their respective colleges, by 
Mr. Sykes of Brase Nose, Mr. Shuckburgh of Balliol, 
6 by the rev. Mr. Horsley, F. R. S. and Mr. Cyril Jack- 
son, A. B. and student of Christ Church.' In a separate 
paper of Horsley &, he says that he observed in the 
same room with Mr. Jackson, but unfortunately no men- 
tion is made of the place in which that room was situ- 
ated. This is the more to be regretted, since there would 
be a pleasure in preserving the particulars, — connected 
as they are, under such circumstances, with the me- 
mory of a man, to whom the university, when he was 
afterwards raised to a very high station in it, was so 
deeply indebted. 

This dispersion of observers in different places, not one 
of which was properly suited to their object, was the 
consequence of no regular observatory having yet been 
established in Oxford ; but steps had been taken even 
before that time to remove this serious evil. In 1768 
professor Hornsby had applied for this purpose to the 

e Vol. lix. p. 172. f Afterwards of Hertford college. 

B Phil. Trans, vol. lix. p. 183. 

B 3 


earl of Litchfield, who was one of the trustees of Dr. 
Radcliffe's estates as well as chancellor of the university, 
and the application being supported by the leading men 
in Oxford was favourably received. The duke of Marl- 
borough also contributed a lease 11 of eight acres and a half 
of ground, which he held under St. John's college, afford- 
ing a situation, which at the time was sufficiently re- 
moved from any surrounding buildings. In 1772 a plan 
was delivered in by Mr. Keene, and some progress ap- 
pears to have been made in the execution of it ; but in 
March 1773 the further advance was suspended in favour 
of another elevation, which he had designed, the general 
form of which will be better understood from the en- 
graved view than from any verbal description. The 
dwelling-house, the two wings, and the central part as far 
as the platform, were built before Mr. Keene's death in 
1776 : Mr. James Wyat, who succeeded him as architect 
to the trustees, altered some of the outward parts and 
raised the octagon building at the top, which is designed 
from the temple of the winds at Athens. The whole was 
roofed in about 1778 ; but the external sculpture 1 and 
some of the internal arrangements required more time, so 
that the work was not finished till 1795. 

The front extends 175 feet, each of the wings being 
69, and the top of the globe is about 106 from the 

h To promote the stability so necessary to a scientific institution, 
St. John's college was afterwards induced to sell the fee to the Rad- 
cliffe trustees under the sanction of an act of parliament in 1820. 

1 The figures in bronze, at the top, of Hercules and Atlas sup- 
porting the globe, and of the winds, which are copied from the designs 
in Stuart's Athens, on the eight sides of the tower, were executed by 
Bacon: on the* walls, under the platform, the bas reliefs representing 
the signs of the zodiac, and the rising, noon, and setting sun, were mo- 
delled in Coade's artificial stone by Rossi. 


ground. A covered way leads from the dwelling-house 
to the eastern wing, in which the principal instruments 
are placed for the regular meridional observations, and 
the annexed plan will explain the arrangements on the 
ground floor. 


The eastern wing contains two mural quadrants of 8 
feet radius, a zenith sector of 12, and an 8 feet transit 
instrument, all made by Bird in the years 1772 and 1773. 
Dr. Hornsby was the private friend of this great artist k ' 
who employed his utmost skill in completing what he 
had undertaken ; and the construction of the zenith sector, 
by which the instrument can be most readily reversed, is 
peculiarly remarkable for its excellence and simplicity. 

These instruments are placed in three adjoining rooms, 
the quadrants in that at the eastern extremity, and the 
zenith sector in the small northern apartment next to 
it. This opens most conveniently to the transit room, 
and beyond that is first a library, and then the central 
hall, which is 30 feet in diameter. On the north side of 
it is an elliptical staircase 1 , which leads to the upper 

k Hornsby was the first person who could induce Bird to use 
achromatic glasses, against which he had taken up an extraordinary- 

1 To make room for this and other accommodations, it will 
be seen, from the ground plan, that a circular form is given to the 
northern side of the centre. 

B 4 


rooms. On the first floor there is a spacious lecture 
room, with two apartments adjoining for the reception 
of apparatus; these are all very lofty, reaching up to 
the broad platform, and the whole to that height is 
built with the greatest solidity, so as to afford a firm 
support for the instruments which are used upon it. 
They are deposited in the upper building, and consist 
principally of a ten feet reflector, made by the late sir 
Wm. Herschel, and two achromatics by Dollond ; the one 
of 10 feet, with an object glass of 4£ inches, the other 
of 34 feet, with an aperture of 34- inches. The building 
is so constructed that these telescopes may be taken out 
into the open air, or may be used from the windows, 
which for that purpose are set in each of the eight sides 
of the building. Immediately under the roof also there 
are four other windows, which open on a gallery that 
surrounds the interior of the room ; this gives additional 
means of taking a view, if necessary, from a greater ele- 

The western answers exactly to the eastern wing in 
the arrangements of its rooms. It contains the mural 
quadrant by Bird, with which Hornsby™ made his first 
determination of the latitude of Oxford. The observ- 
ations, from which he deduced the quantity, were made 
by him at Corpus. 

In the room at the western extremity of the whole is 
a small transit by Bird, which Hornsby was in the habit 
of using before the observatory was built. This room 
will however be put, ere long, to a more useful purpose ; 
since it is immediately to be fitted up for the reception 
of a six feet circle, on which Mr. Jones, of Charing Cross, 
is at present employed, with a view to remove the prin- 
m Phil. Trans, vol. lix p. 181. 


cipal difficulties attending the common construction of 
that kind of instrument. 

The plan of the observatory did not admit of the equa- 
torial being placed at the top of it : a separate building 
was therefore erected for this instrument where the ho- 
rizon was most free from interruptions. Bird did not live 
to complete it ; and the apparatus, in this particular in- 
stance, was not so perfect as it would have been if it could 
have had the advantage of being finished by his hands. 
The Radcliffe trustees have therefore determined that a 
new equatorial shall be procured, with every advantage 
which can be obtained from modern improvements. 
This, together with the circle, will require a very large 
sum : but the trustees in their liberal patronage of sci- 
ence have never spared any expense, when it could be 
usefully employed, and in their support of the establish- 
ment have made every thing worthy of the inscription in 
the hall ; which notices that all was derived 





It is well known that the first collection of the curiosi- 
ties, natural and artificial, which now form but a small 
part of the contents of the Ashmolean Museum, was 
made by John Tradescant, by birth a Dutchman ; who is 
supposed to have come to England about the end of 
queen Elizabeth's reign, or the beginning of that of 
James the First. He was a considerable time in the 
service of lord treasurer Salisbury and of Edward lord 
Wotton ; travelled in various parts of Europe, as far 
as Russia ; was in a fleet sent against the Algerines ; 
and collected plants in Barbary and the isles of the 
Mediterranean. He had a garden at Lambeth ; and 
in the reign of Charles I, in 1629, bore the title of 
king's gardener. He was a man of extraordinary cu- 
riosity, and was the first who in this country made 
any considerable collection of the subjects of natu- 
ral history. His son, of the same name, went to Vir- 
ginia, and thence imported many new plants. His 
museum, called Tradescant's ark, attracted the curiosity 
of the age, and was much frequented by the great ; by 
whose means it was also considerably enlarged, as appears 
by the list of his benefactors, printed at the end of his 
Museum Tradescantianum : amongst whom, after the 
names of the king and queen, are found those of many of 
the first nobility ; the duke and duchess of Buckingham, 
archbishop Laud, the earls of Salisbury and Carlisle, &c. 

John Tradescant the son, who died in 1662, inherited 
his father's collection, and bequeathed it by a deed of gift 
to Elias Ashmole a , who lodged in his house. This be- 

a Elias Aslimole, whom Wood styles ( the greatest virtuoso and 
curioso that was ever known or read of in England/ to whom the 


coming afterwards a part of the Ashmolean Museum, 
the name of Tradescant was sunk. 

Ashmole amongst his various pursuits had at one time 
studied botany, which probably led him to form an inti- 
macy with the Tradescants. He was the son of a saddler 
in Litchfield, and was born, as he states with his accus- 
tomed punctuality, at near half an hour after three o'clock 
in the morning on the twenty- third day of May, 1617. 
He was successively a solicitor in chancery, an attorney 
in the common pleas, a gentleman in the ordnance, when 
Oxford was garrisoned by the royal army, an exciseman 
or comptroller of the ordnance, a free mason, astrologer, 
botanist, chemist, anatomist, physician ; and, though last 
not least, a very learned herald. Heraldry seems to have 
been his fort, and astrology his foible. It is difficult to 
reconcile the acquisition of so much dry business-like 
knowledge with the taste for so much of the visionary 
and fanciful. But it should be remembered, that the 
word astrology comprehended then almost all that was 
known of astronomy. 

Ashmole enriched the Tradescant collection, which 
consisted chiefly of the skins and bones of animals, with 
a collection of medals, coins, and gold chains, presented 
to him by the elector of Brandenburgh and others ; and 
with a valuable collection of paintings b , manuscripts, 

Tradescant collection was left, gives a minute statement of that 
bequest in the very strange diary of his own life. 

b These are now chiefly on the staircase. Among them are portraits 
of Thomas, earl of Arundel, and his son, by Vandyke ; sir John 
Suckling, when young, by Dobson ; Dr. Plot, first keeper of the 
Museum ; John Selden, esq. in advanced life; Dr. J. Dee; a curious 
original portrait of Elizabeth Wydevile, queen of Edward IV ; John 
king of France, taken prisoner at the battle of Poictiers ; the Tra- 
descant family, by Dobson ; Oliver Cromwell ; Lewis XI. of France ; 


and printed books on history, heraldry, and astrology; 
for he had purchased the library of Lilly the celebrated 
astrologer ; a detailed catalogue of which has been lately 
made by the indefatigable antiquary Mr. Black. 

The library of the Museum has since been increased by 
sir W. Dugdale's, Anthony a Wood's, and Mr. Aubrey's 
manuscripts ; which last have furnished much amusing 
matter for a publication, printed some years since by the 
rev. J. Walker, of New College, under the title of Oxo- 
niana. It has also been enlarged by Martin Lister's col- 
lections of shells, as well as those of Plot, Llwyd, and 
Borlase, and other objects of natural history. It has 
been from time to time enriched by the valuable dona- 
tions of many other benefactors c : particularly those of 
the Alfred gem, given in 1718 by Thomas Palmer, esq. 
of Fairfield, Somerset ; the large magnet ; the very cu- 
rious group of figures made with humming-birds' fea- 
thers ; and lately by a great portion of the antiquities 
described in the Naenia Britannica, presented by that 
liberal antiquary sir Richard Colt Hoare, bart. 

In a pecuniary point of view its greatest benefactor 
was Dr. Richard Rawlinson, the founder of the Anglo- 

Henry duke of Gloucester ; Edward V ; William Lilly the astro- 
loger ; Richard Napier, M. D. ; Ben Jonson ; Edward lord Wotton 
of Marley, brother of sir Henry Wotton ; Inigo Jones ; Erasmus ; 
John Lewin, the celebrated comedian ; Thomas Parr, at the age of 
] 52 ; a dead Christ, by Annibal Carracci ; the descent of Christ into 
hell, by Brugel ; a curious historical representation of the celebrated 
battle of Pavia, 1525 ; &c. 

c Among others Dr. George Clarke, fellow of All Souls, bequeathed 
several valuable curiosities ; the most beautiful of which are, the 
model of a sixty-four gun ship made by William Lee, esq. and two 
others of royal yachts constructed in 1697 and 1702. See Dr. 
Clarke's will, 1737, and the manuscript register in the Museum. 

% 1 


Saxon professorship ; who bequeathed a salary for the 
curator, though under several exclusive conditions, which 
are detailed in his will. 

For many years the Museum had been so much neg- 
lected, that it attracted but little curiosity ; when in the 
year 1824, it was fortunately entrusted to the care of 
John Shute Duncan, esq. fellow of New College. He found 
that the skins of animals collected by the Tradescants had 
fallen into total decay, that cabinets for those objects 
which were liable to injury from time were wholly want- 
ing, and that the apartment dedicated to the exhibition of 
them had become much dilapidated. Happily at this time 
a taste for the study of natural history had been excited 
in the university by Dr. Paley's very interesting work on 
Natural Theology, the popular lectures of Dr. Kidd 
on Comparative Anatomy, and those of Dr. Buckland on 
Geology. Availing himself of this spirit, the curator in- 
duced the trustees to sanction an application for a ge- 
neral repair of the Museum. Their wish was seconded 
by the liberality of convocation. When the upper room 
had been thus repaired, and put in its present condition, 
the next step of the new curator was to fit it up with 
cabinets ; in which he might arrange in proper order 
what he found in a very confused state in the Museum, 
and might place therein such objects of natural history, 
antiquities, or curiosities, as were purchased by himself, 
or which might be given by future benefactors. 

It was a fortunate circumstance for the Museum, that 
on the regretted resignation and retirement of Mr. John 
Duncan in 1829, the appointment of his brother Philip 
B. Duncan, esq., fellow also of New College, has left the 
lovers of science no ground for a relaxation of their ex- 
ertions and support. 


Upon the removal, in the year 1832, of the geological 
collection to the Clarendon, and of the instruments, &c. 
from the room formerly used by the professors of natu- 
ral and experimental philosophy, the ground-floor apart- 
ments d were thrown into one large room. This is 
now much improved by the addition of some well 
proportioned Ionic pillars ; which contribute to the em- 
bellishment of the building, whilst they ensure its 
strength. The whole forms a handsome saloon ; and 
having been recently fitted up by the present keeper, it 
exhibits an arranged collection of shells, some of the 
larger quadrupeds, together with a valuable series of 
heads of animals and birds. Among the latter is the 
unique head of the now extinct bird called the dodo. 
Some of these rarities constituted a part of the Tra- 
descant collection. In another portion of the room are 
displayed various dresses, instruments, &c. from the East, 
Southern Africa, the Sandwich Islands, and from the 
territories of the Esquimaux Indians ; presented by Mr. 
Reinhold Forster, captains Lyon and Beech ey, lieutenants 
Hardinge and Cole, W. Burchell, esq. and other travel- 
lers. There are also some admirable portraits of king 
Charles the First and Second, James the Second, Trades- 
cant, and the Founder, Elias Ashmole, esq. The upper 
room is dedicated to the collection of birds, beasts, fishes, 
and insects, systematically arranged ; to those of coins 
and antiquities, together with the books belonging to the 
Museum and the Ashmolean Society. 

This repository now exhibits, principally from the 
liberality of the late and present keepers, J. S. and 
P. B. Duncan, esqrs., a well arranged collection of many 

d Beneath the Museum is a residence for the professor of chemistry, 
and a laboratory where his lectures are delivered. 


of the genera in every department of zoology, with some 
beautiful and rare species included in each genus. 

The foundation of a collection in geology was laid in 
this Museum so early as the time of James the Second, 
by Dr. Plot the first keeper, and by his successor Mr. 
Edward Llwyd : and many specimens of fossil organic 
remains are still preserved here, bearing the numbers 
affixed to them by these authors e . 

Little addition appears to have been made to this de- 
partment of natural history till near the year 1800 ; 
when a cabinet of minerals was purchased by the univer- 
sity from sir Christopher Pegge, who had for some time 
previous delivered private lectures in mineralogy. About 
this time Dr. Kidd, the first holder of the office of reader 
in' Mineralogy, began the formation of a new collection in 
Geology ; to which Mr. Wm. Conybeare and many others 
of his pupils contributed. Mr. Henry Drummond also 
presented, through Dr. Kidd, a series of valuable speci- 
mens in mineralogy. Dr. Buckland, who followed Dr. 
Kidd in this office in 1813, and who became also Reader 
in Geology in 1818, presented his entire geological collec- 
tion to the university in 1823. In 1824, the Rev. John 
Josias Conybeare bequeathed to the university his large 
collection of specimens in geology and mineralogy, toge- 
ther with the cabinets containing them, and fifty pounds 
for the purchase of additional specimens in mineralogy. 

The collection having now become much too large to be 
contained in the room allotted to it in the Museum, and 
the room itself insufficient as a lecture room, in 1832 
the western portion of the middle and upper stories 
of the Clarendon was assigned by the university to re- 

e Dr. Plot gave his whole collection of fossils to the Museum in 
1691 ; to which Mr. Llwyd added his in 1708. 



ceive the collections in geology and mineralogy ; thus 
affording ample space for the exhibition of these interest- 
ing, and in many respects unique collections. Their most 
remarkable contents consist of fossil bones and other or- 
ganic remains of a former world. In the same year 
Richard Simmons esq., M. D. of Ch. Ch., presented to the 
university a most beautiful and choice collection of simple 
minerals, for which appropriate cases have been provided 
in the north-west room of the middle story of the Claren- 
don. The convenient space and handsome provision now 
made by the university for the exhibition of specimens, 
combined with the advancement of science, must operate 
as a strong motive to the continual addition of similar 


fa g 

^ 5 

WB*f 4M. -.iM* L Wrtt.'si'i 



The Radcliffe Library. 

1 HE founder of this Library, Dr. John Radcliffe, 
was a person of so extraordinary a character, as well as 
a distinguished benefactor to the university, that a more 
extended notice of him may be required in this work than 
has been hitherto given in any similar publication. 

He was born at Wakefield, in Yorkshire a , in the year 

a His family was ancient and respectable. One sir Richard Rad- 
clyffe, knight, occurs among the great persons who attended king 
Richard III. when he visited Oxford, and Waynfiete's new founda- 
tion, in 1483. See Wood's Annals, I. 639. Two of the name were 
members of University college in 1607, and one became principal of 
Brasenose in 1614. There was also a physician of this name, Dr. 
Richard Radclyffe, who was principal of St. Alban hall ; in memory 
of whom there is a brass plate affixed to the wall in the Lady chapel 


1650 ; and, having acquired a competent knowledge of 
the learned languages at a school in his native town, he 
was admitted a member of University college at the age 
of fifteen. Here he remained till he took his bachelor's 
degree in Arts in the year 1669 ; but despairing of a 
fellowship, though senior scholar, he then removed to 
Lincoln college, where he obtained one. Having in view 
the medical profession, he applied himself with great 
assiduity and success to the study of botany, chemistry, 
anatomy, and other necessary departments of science : 
and having proceeded from the degree of Master of Arts 
in 1672 to that of Bachelor of Medicine three years after- 
wards, according to the statutable provisions of that day, 
he commenced his practice as a licentiate in Oxford. 

Though our young physician was by no means defi- 
cient in classical attainments, or knowledge of his pro- 
fession, yet he is represented by his biographers as hav- 
ing 'recommended himself more by ready wit and vivacity 
than by any extraordinary acquisitions in learning.' This 
opinion has been strengthened by the following anecdote. 
Living in habits of intimacy with Dr. Bathurst, then pre- 
sident of Trinity and dean of Wells, the latter, visiting 
him at his rooms, inquired of him on some occasion 
where his library was ? Upon which the physician, point- 
ing to a few phials, a skeleton, and a herbal, exclaimed 
with emphasis, i There, sir, is Radcliffe's libraryV In 

of St. Peter's church in the East, where he was buried in the year 
1599. Whether Dr. A. Radcliffe, the munificent canon of Christ 
Church, was of the same family, does not appear. 

b Dr. Bathurst had himself taken his degrees in Medicine, and 
practised successfully during the usurpation. Many of his Latin 
treatises on medical and philosophical subjects have been printed in 
his Life by Mr. Warton. He was an early member of the Royal 
Society, and a distinguished ornament of the university. 


1682 he took his doctor's degree in medicine, and went 
out a grand compounder: an important ceremony in 
those times, and for a century afterwards, being accom- 
panied with much expensive pomp and solemnity ; all 
the members of the college walking in procession with 
the candidate, himself bareheaded, to the convocation 

Having previously relinquished his fellowship in ac- 
cordance with the statutes of his college, which require 
all the fellows after a certain time to enter into holy 
orders, he continued in lodgings about two years after 
this period, increasing daily in fame, wealth, and reputa- 
tion. His successful treatment of lady Spencer at Yarn- 
ton, the seat of her husband, sir Thomas Spencer, con- 
tributed not a little to his advancement in his profession c . 
At length, in 1684, he settled in London, fixing his re- 
sidence in Bow-street, Covent-garden ; and so rapidly 
did he rise in public estimation, that Mr. Dandridge, his 
apothecary, calculated his receipts on an average at twenty 
guineas a day, before he had been a year in town. But, 
though honoured by the court, and caressed by the no- 
bility, who sought his conversation as much as they 
admired his skill, he on all occasions displayed an inde- 
pendence of mind and character, which neither flattery 
could corrupt, nor faction circumvent. The then cele- 
brated master of University college, Obadiah Walker, his 
fellow-collegian, was in vain employed to influence his 
religious principles, with a view to advance the desperate 
cause of king James the Second. The answer of Dr. 

c This lady, after three years of hopeless suffering, under the hands 
of two other physicians, was restored in three weeks by Dr. Radcliffe ; 
and she lived to see her grandchildren's children. V. Radcliffe 's Me- 
moirs, p. 9 ; Biograph. Brit. 3452. 

B 2 


Radcliffe was firm and dignified : ' that being bred up a 
protestant at Wakefield, and having continued such at 
Oxford, where he had no relish for absurdities, he saw 
no reason to change his principles, and turn papist in 
London d .' 

As no man acquired wealth more rapidly, so no man 
sustained the loss of it with greater composure. The 
failure of a speculation, in which he had embarked ten 
thousand pounds, being announced to him at the Bull- 
head tavern in Claremarket, where he was enjoying the 
company of some persons of the highest rank, he took 
his glass cheerfully as before ; observing only, * that he 
had nothing to do but to go up 250 pair of stairs to 
make himself whole again.' Indeed on one occasion, a 
short time before, he had received a fee of one thousand 
guineas from queen Mary : and in the campaign of 1695 
his majesty, king William, having sent for him from 
England, rewarded his services by an order on the trea- 
sury for twelve hundred pounds. The earl of Albemarle 
also, whom he had restored in a week, after he had lan- 
guished many months, from a dangerous fever caught in 
the camp after the capture of Namur, presented him with 
a diamond ring, and four hundred guineas. Yet the 
unreserved candour and ingenuousness with which Dr. 

d See the letters which passed between them in the Biographia 
Britannica; art. Radcliffe,, pp. 3453-4; Memoirs, p. 17- and seqq. 

In 1708 he presented Mr. Bingham, fellow of University college, 
the learned author of the Antiquities of the Christian Church, to the 
rectory of Headbourne Worthy, in Hampshire ; though a sermon of his 
had been censured at a meeting of the heads of houses a few years 
before. The perpetual advowson of this living he afterwards be- 
queathed to trustees for the benefit of University college for ever ; 
so that a member of that society should always be presented to it on 
every vacancy. Mr. Bingham was born at Wakefield. 


Radcliffe treated his patients, of whatever rank or degree, 
and the singularity of his predictions with regard to the 
exact time of their departure from the world, will pro- 
bably excite a smile in the present day. 

On the king's return from Loo in Holland, in 1697, 
after the treaty of peace at Ryswick, his majesty, fall- 
ing sick at his palace in Kensington, sent for Dr. Rad- 
cliffe ; who, after a long conference and consultation 
respecting the nature of his disorder, addressed him 
thus : ' If your majesty will adhere to my prescriptions, 
it may be in my power to lengthen out your life for 
three or four years; but beyond that period nothing 
in physic can protract it : for the juices of your sto- 
mach are all vitiated, your whole mass of blood is 
corrupted, and your nutriment for the most part turns 
to water.' Though the king was so much restored by 
following the advice and prescriptions given him, that 
he was able again to visit his palace at Loo in Hol- 
land, where he remained about two years, yet his life 
was not protracted beyond the time predicted. He saw 
the physician but once after his return : when, extending 
his swoln ankles, whilst the rest of his body was almost 
reduced to a skeleton, ' Doctor,' said he, ' what think you 
of these ?' ' Why truly,' replied the physician, ' I would 
not have your majesty's two legs for your three king- 
doms.' This freedom, though not apparently noticed at 
the time, alienated the royal patient from his physician ; 
and, though he followed his prescriptions, he would not 
admit him again into his presence. 

Many other such extraordinary assertions and pre- 
dictions are recorded. The young duke of Glocester was 
taken ill at Windsor during the celebration of his birth- 
day. Dr. Radcliffe was consulted ; who, upon the first 

B 3 


sight of the royal youth, frankly told the princess of 
Denmark, that he would die by a certain hour the very 
next day. And so he did. In 1703, when the marquis 
of Blandford, only son of the duke of Marlborough, was 
ill of the smallpox at Cambridge, the duchess went in 
person to the doctor's house in London to request his 
assistance : who, being made acquainted with the details 
of the case, and its treatment by the Cambridge physi- 
cians, said, ' Madam, I should only put you to a great 
expense to no purpose : for you have nothing to do for 
his lordship now but to send down an undertaker to super- 
intend his funeral.' No sooner had the duchess returned 
to her apartments in St. James's palace, than a messenger 
arrived from Cambridge with the mournful intelligence 
of his death. In like manner a message being sent from 
the duke of Beaufort, who was ill at his seat at Badmin- 
ton, requesting the immediate attendance of Dr. Radcliffe, 
he told the messenger, ' that there was no manner of 
occasion for his presence, since the duke, his master, had 
died at a certain hour, which he named, on the preceding 
day.' This the servant on his return found to be strictly 
true. So implicit a confidence did the duchess of Beau- 
fort entertain of the doctor's skill, that in her 85th year 
she declared it to be her firm persuasion, that * whilst he 
lived she should never die.' 

In 1708 prince George of Denmark, being reduced to 
the last extremity by a dropsical disorder, had been sent 
to Bath by the court physicians for the cure of it. At 
length the queen, laying aside her personal objections to 
Dr. Radcliffe, who had formerly offended her majesty, 
when indisposed, by saying she had only s the vapours/ 
sent for him in one of her own royal carriages, to con- 
sult him respecting the treatment and disorder of his 


royal highness. Radcliffe assured her majesty, 'that 
however common it might be for surgeons to apply 
caustics in cases of burning or scalding, it was irregular 
in physicians to attempt to expel watery humours by 
draughts of the same element e .' He promised however 
1 to prescribe for him such anodynes as should give him 
an easier passage out of this world ; since he had been 
so tampered with, that nothing in the art of physic 
could keep his royal highness alive more than six days.' 
Accordingly, to the inexpressible grief of the queen, and 
of the whole court, he expired on the sixth day fol- 

In 1714 he predicted his own death with the same 
confidence with which he spoke concerning that of others. 
To several of his friends he declared, at the tavern before 
mentioned, to which they usually resorted, ' It was high 
time for him to retire from the world, to make his will, 
and to set his house in order : for he had notices within 
which told him, that his abode in this world could not 
be twelve months longer f .' He died at his house at 

e It appears from this remark, that Dr. Radcliffe was no convert to 
the doctrine of homoeopathy, which has been recently revived. 

f His prediction of the death of old Tyson of Hackney, a noted 
usurer, who was said to have left behind him 300,000/. was accom- 
panied with an awful announcement, to which we can barely allude. 
He told him, that he had nothing to do but to go home and die ; that 
he had raised an immense estate out of the spoils of the public, and 
the tears of orphans and widows ; and that he would be a dead man 
in less than ten days. The disconsolate usurer returned to his house, 
quite confounded with the sentence which had been passed upon him, 
and he died in eight days. See Memoirs, p. 76, &c. ; Biogr. Br. 
p. 3463. These memoirs, though originally published only one year 
after the death of Dr. Radcliffe, in which also the writer is said to 
have been assisted by Dr. Mead, must be received now, like most 
other memoirs of that period, with some grains of allowance. See 
note, p. 9. 

B 4 


Carshaltons on the first of November following ; being 
then in his sixty-fifth year; and, though afflicted with 
the gout, he was so little suspected by others to be in a 
dangerous state, that some even of his friends censured 
him for his negligence in not attending queen Anne in 
her last moments. Some persons went so far as to send 
him anonymous letters on this account, threatening to 
assassinate him if he ever ventured to come again to 
London. Such base conduct, and the want of friends 
in his retirement, may have accelerated an event, which 
he felt to be at no great distance 11 . His body was con- 
veyed to Oxford from Carshalton; and interred with 
great solemnity in St. Mary's church, near the north- 
west corner of the present organ-gallery 1 . 

S This house, said by Lysons to have been built by Dr. Radcliffe, 
was after his death purchased for 7663/. by sir John Fellows, one of 
the governors of the south sea company ; who rebuilt or enlarged it. 
The present mansion, the property of Theodore Broadhead, esq. in 
1792, when Lysons printed his ' Environs of London/ was once the 
residence of lord chancellor Hardwicke. See Lysons' Environs, &c. 
1. 135-6. The celebrated Dr. Mead succeeded not only to the greater 
part of the practice of his friend Dr. Radcliffe, but to his town resi- 
dence in Bloomsbury square. This house was afterwards inhabited 
by sir John Rushout. 

h During the last two years of his life he sat in parliament for the 
town of Buckingham : but he escaped the fate of Dr. Freind, who sat 
afterwards for a Cornish borough, and having defended bishop Atter- 
bury with some warmth was sent a prisoner to the Tower. Of 
Dr. Radcliffe's speeches in the house only two have been preserved : 
in one of which, on the bill for preventing schism, he displayed the 
same spirit of prediction, and the same attachment to the institutions 
of his country, for which he was so remarkable through life. See 
Appendix to his Life, pp. 93-5. 

1 See the vice-chancellor's programma on the occasion in the Regis- 
ter of the University, Biographia Britannica, pp. 3465-6, and Life,, 
by Pittis, ed. 1736, p. 83. The following inscription was placed on 
his coffin, engraven on a brass plate : ' John Radcliffe, Dr. in Physick, 
dyed Nov. ye 1st, 1714, in the 65th year of his Age.' 

*3 i 


Such was Dr. Radcliffe : whose wit k and talents were 
long remembered by his contemporaries ; and whose 
benefactions will extend to the latest posterity 1 . To Uni- 
versity college, where he was first admitted, he gave 
1100/. for increasing their exhibitions and for general 
repairs : 5000/. more he left in his will for their new 
buildings : besides 600/. per annum for ever to found 
two travelling fellowships ; and other benefactions. The 
painted window at the east end of the chapel there was 
one of his first donations to that society. In 1706 he gave 
200/. to be divided equally between the new church of 

k His.wit was sometimes overmatched; as in the following instance. 
When sir Godfrey Kneller threatened to stop up a garden door be- 
tween their respective premises, which had been opened for the doc- 
tor's convenience, the latter having sent a facetious message by his ser- 
vant, 'that the knight might do what he thought fit with respect to 
the door, provided he refrained from painting it,' sir Godfrey in per- 
fect good humour replied by the same messenger, ' that he could take 
any thing from him but physic.' 

1 We are necessarily compelled, by the limits prescribed to us in a 
work of this kind, to confine our attention principally to the charac- 
ter of Dr. Radcliffe as a physician, and as a public benefactor in this 
place. Those who wish to see more of the peculiarities of his com- 
position, and the various incidents of a life passed chiefly in the heart 
of the metropolis, may consult his ' Memoirs/ printed at London in 
1715, the year after his death, one of the most amusing works of that 
period. From this work, chiefly, aided by the authors of the Life of 
king William, of queen Anne,, of the duchess of Marlborough, of Bet- 
terton the tragedian, Burnet's ' History of his own Time/ and other 
contemporary memoirs, the editors of the Biographia Britannica and 
Mr. Chalmers derived their materials for the Life of Dr. Radcliffe. 
This entertaining work, compiled by William Pittis of New College, 
assisted by information from Dr. Mead, went through four editions. 
To the last, in 1736, the author added his name, with an appendix of 
letters, speeches in parliament, &c. ; and the altered title of ' Dr. Rad- 
cliffe's Life and Letters.' To this work also the author of the ' Gold- 
headed Cane' is much indebted ; who has exhibited the striking points 
of Dr. Radcliffe's life and character in a very lively manner. 


All Saints and Peckwater quadrangle. He also gave the 
elegant little bronze figure of Mercury, which formerly- 
stood in the centre of the reservoir in the great quadrangle 
at Christ Church. But his two greatest works are, the 
foundation of the Library and Infirmary called after his 
name. The latter has been already mentioned in our 
account of St. Giles's parish, in which it is situated" 1 . 
The former we have now to notice. 

The Library. This splendid edifice, so lofty and so 
conspicuous from every point of view, is so well known, 
and has been so often described in detail, that a minute 
examination of its constituent parts will not be expected 
in such a work as the present. It will be best seen in 
the engravings annexed to our pages". Placed in the 
centre of a large square, and that square almost in the 
centre of the city, and surrounded on all sides with pub- 
lic buildings, it has many advantages of situation : yet 
some persons, who are never satisfied, express their re- 
gret, that it is not on the top of a hill ; others have 
asserted, that it spoils the square ; not considering, that 
the square itself was called into existence for the sake of 
the library: the whole space having been before occu- 

m How much the Observatory is also indebted to the munificence of 
Dr. Radcliffe through the liberality of his trustees, has been already 
stated in our account of that establishment. The Asylum on Hed- 
dington hill at the end of Cheney lane, has also received so much 
assistance from the same source, that the committee have given it the 
name of the ' Radcliffe Asylum/ 

n For further particulars we must refer our readers to a work 
printed in folio, 1 747, by James Gibbs, F. R. S. the architect of the 
building. It is entitled f Bibliotheca Radcliviana:' or, A short de- 
scription of the Radcliffe Library at Oxford; containing its several 
plans, parts, sections, elevations, and ornaments, in twenty-three copper 
plates, neatly engraved, with an explication to each plate. 



pied by narrow lanes and ruinous tenements , which 
were purchased with the money left by Dr. Radcliffe p. 


1. Cat street. 2. School street. 3. St. Mary's lane. 4. St. Mary's church. 
5. St. Mary's entry. 

A curious ground plan of the site of these tenements is preserved 
in the Radcliffe library, which has been engraved by Mr. Skelton in 
his ' Oxonia/ In the same work, pi. 54, is a repetition of the en- 
graving in the Oxford Almanack of 1751 by G. Vertue, the last that 
was engraved for the university by that excellent artist. It repre- 
sents a section of the interior of the library, with a miniature eleva- 
tion of the exterior suspended above from the centre of the oval 
border, or frame-work. In the area is represented the ceremony 
which took place three years before, of delivering the keys to Alma 
Mater on the opening of the library. In the following year James 
Green engraved a general view of the Radcliffe square ; having the 
library in the centre of the foreground, part of the south front 
of the schools, &c. on one side, St. Mary's noble tower and spire on 
the other, with a part of Rrasenose library and chapel, and a house 
which is now occupied by Mr. Vincent, in the background. 

P ' Whatever may be thought,' observes Mr. Chalmers, ' of the 
general design, or of the situation, in which however the artist 
{architect ?) had no choice, he took care that the interior, and very 
highly finished ornaments, should be executed by the first artists the 
age afforded ; and although it must be confessed the square in which 


The whole sum bequeathed for this purpose, and for the 
erection of the building, was 40,000/. ; in addition to 
which he endowed it with an annual stipend of 150/. for 
the librarian, 100/. per annum for the purchase of books, 
and 100/. more for repairs. The foundation stone was 
laid with great ceremony on the 17th of May, 1737; 
and, being completed in about ten years, it was at length 
opened, in a most solemn manner, on Thursday, April 13, 
1749 ; when the duke of Beaufort, in behalf of himself 
and the other trustees, formally delivered the key to the 
vice-chancellor * for the use of the university 1.' The 
first librarian appointed by the trustees was Francis 
Wise, B. D. fellow of Trinity college, the learned editor 
of the catalogue and description of the Bodleian coins ; 
folio, 1750 ; and other works 1 *. 

This structure was at first called the ' Physic Library,' 
being intended principally for books and manuscripts re- 
lating to the science of Physic ; comprehending, as that 
term was then understood, anatomy, botany, surgery, 
and natural philosophy. Accordingly, in compliance with 
a resolution of the trustees, the purchase of books is still 
confined chiefly to works connected with Natural His- 

it stands was complete without it, there are none of the perspective 
views of Oxford in which this building would not be missed, and none 
in which it is not a very striking feature/ 

<i Many members of the university, with the consent of the trustees 
and librarian, have enriched the interior by donations of statues, busts, 
and other embellishments. Sir Roger Newdigate, bart., gave the an- 
cient candelabra found among the ruins of the emperor Hadrian's 
palace at Tivoli. The casts from the antique were procured at the 
expense of the Messrs. Duncans of New College. 

r See in Pointer's ' Oxoniensis Academia,' Lond. 1749, a contem- 
porary account of the ceremony of opening the library, &c. See also 
Gent. Mag. vol. XIX. pp. 165, 459; and vol. LI. p. 75. 


tory and Medicine. It may be proper to state here, that 
Dr. Radcliffe's first design was, in 1712-13, to make an 
addition to the Bodleian Library, by building a room 
ninety feet in length from the western window of the 
Selden part of that structure, and of course to correspond 
with it in height. The proportions of such a room, com- 
bined with those of the present edifice, may be easily 
imagined. Fortunately there were many technical and 
other impediments to such a scheme ; though his friend 
Dr. Atterbury calls it a * noble design :' and so indeed it 
was, as far as Dr. Radcliffe's generous intentions were 
concerned. But it can scarcely be supposed, as the edit- 
ors of the Biographia Britannica have stated, that ' the 
Doctor changed his purpose as to the site,' merely be- 
cause the society of Exeter college ' insisted upon such 
terms as evinced their great unwillingness to lose the 
benefit of a good part of their garden,' which must have 
been taken away by the purchase of the ground, on 
which the building was to be erected. In fact, Dr. At- 
terbury says expressly, that Exeter college had con- 
sented, upon condition that not only a library should be 
built for them underneath, but some lodgings also, which 
it was necessary to pull down to make room for the new 
design, should be rebuilt. That there was nothing un- 
reasonable in this stipulation, appears from the fact stated 
by the same authority last quoted s , that the University 
thought of furnishing that part of the charge : and Dr. 
Radcliffe readily proffered to furnish the rest ; promising, 
after he had perfected the building, to give 100/. for ever 
to furnish it with books. This latter provision remains 
in his will, dated Sept. 13, 1714 ; with this revised in- 
struction to his executors : ' to pay 40,000/. in ten years, 

s Atterbury's Correspondence, letter cviii. 


at 4000/. per annum ; the first payment to be made after 
the decease of his two sisters ; for building a library in 
Oxon, and purchasing the houses between St. Mary's and 
the Schools in Cat-street ; where he intended the library 
to stand V From these expressions we may infer, that 
Dr. RadclifFe merely contemplated a structure, which 
should extend along Cat-street, in a line nearly parallel 
with All Souls, and on the opposite side of that street. 
The spirited and magnificent design of forming a new 
square, by demolishing all the irregular and decayed 
tenements in this large space, and placing the Library in 
the centre, must have been suggested afterwards : and 
great praise is due to those who contributed to the accom- 
plishment of this design, by surrendering their different 
interests in the tenements thus demolished. For on the 
ground which now forms the RadclifFe square, and in 
the immediate neighbourhood, were formerly many re- 
mains of ancient halls ; and the schools hereabout were 
so numerous, that the name of ' School street' was given 
to the avenue which led from the High street by the 
west end of St. Mary's church to a street called ' Beau- 
front street,' where the proscholium of the divinity school 
now stands. Even so late as the 8th of queen Elizabeth 
a piece of garden ground and a stable, in St. Mary's 
parish, between the divinity school and Brasenose college 
lane, demised by indenture to Exeter college by the so- 
ciety of Balliol, is described as abutting on the east end 
upon certain schools belonging to those two colleges 11 . 

This description leads us at once to determine the site 
of those ancient schools, which we find denominated the 

* Biographia Britannica., vol. V. p. 3466. 

n The site is now occupied by the gardens of Exeter college. See 
the vignette at the end, p. 16. 


schools of old Balliol hall, Exeter college schools, Beau- 
front schools, &c. These latter occur so early as 1291 ; 
and in 1310 were given to Balliol college, or hall, to find 
a chaplain to celebrate divine service daily in St. Catha- 
rine's chapel there. Hence they assumed the name of 
Balliol college schools. Exeter college schools were si- 
tuated some time near those of Balliol in School-street ; 
and two of them at least were given to the society so 
early as 1332 ; about which time most of the present site 
of Exeter college was purchased and enclosed. They 
had also schools in Cornwall lane, and in St. Mildred's 
lane; the former being used as lecture-rooms till the 
time of Henry VIII. They were situated between the 
north end of School-street and the old entrance gate of 
the college, in front of which the city arms are visible 
over the modern rustic- work. Next to these, ' in or near 
Beaufront,' were * Stodeley schools,' belonging to the nuns 
of Studley priory ; one of which, called sometimes Pylle 
school, was given to that priory about the year 1276 by 
Wm. Pylle, of Oxford. Near the same spot were Little 
Beaufront schools, Cruste schools, Corner schools, Stock- 
well hall, so called from Philip de Stockwell, who lived in 
the reign of Henry III ; and on the east side, in Cat-street, 
the Halls of Tingewick, St. Catharine, and St. Thomas, &c, 
taken into the premises of All Souls' college. Between 
Cat-street and School-street was a narrow lane, or ave- 
nue, ' venella,' on the north side of St. Mary's church- 
yard, in which stood Godstow hall, Pylet hall, &c. To 
all or most of these halls were schools attached ; parti- 
cularly to the latter: which being ruinous about the year 
1439, Thomas Hokenorton, then abbot of Oseney, rebuilt 
the whole of stone in one tenement ; and, the windows 
being probably large, or filled with a superior kind of 


glass, it acquired the distinguishing appellation of Glazen 
hall. The halls and schools situated where Brasenose 
college now stands, will be found noticed in our account 
of that house. On the opposite side stood Ensham 
schools; belonging to Ensham abbey, and yielding an 
annual rent of four marks, 6th Edw. I. This property, 
known for many ages under the name of Staple hall, 
after the dissolution of the abbeys in the reign of Henry 
VIII., came into the possession of Lincoln college, who 
in 1556 leased it to the society of Brasenose. The 
whole space to the south of these premises was occupied 
by a coachhouse and stables, a large brewery, &c. : north- 
ward stood one of the many tenements called Black hall, 
considered by Wood to be the same with Beloe or Belew 
school, ' Schola de Belewe,' or, ' de bella aqua,' from a 
person of that name who possessed it. The owner of 
this hall was anciently bound to pay annually 'three 
pounds of wax' to the church of St. Cross at Holywell. 





The Botanic Garden. 
I HOUGH lectures appear to have been delivered, 
degrees conferred, and professors appointed in medicine 
from an early period, we possess no record of any en- 
dowment for the purpose having been bestowed prior to 
the year 1524 ; when Thomas Lynacre, D. M. of this 
university, and sometime fellow of All Souls' college, left 
certain lands in fee in the county of Kent, for the mainte- 
nance of two physic lectures in Oxford and Cam bridge a . 

a This distinguished individual, after acquiring a great reputation 
for classical learning, went to study natural philosophy and physic at 
Rome, under Hermolaus Barbarus ; and on his return home, he first 
settled as a physician in Oxford, where he was incorporated M. D. and 
delivered public lectures on physic. But it was not long before he 
was commanded to court by Henry VII, who appointed him preceptor 
and physician to his son, prince Arthur. He was also physician to 
that king, as likewise to his successor Henry VIII. At a later period 



In consequence of this endowment Thomas Moscroffe, 
or Musgrave, master of arts, and licentiate in physic, 
was appointed to the chair of medicine in Oxford, and 
held it for several years. The lands, however, were 
afterwards made over to Merton college, by a composi- 
tion dated 3 Ed. VI, on condition that this society should 
depute some one to expound and read public lectures, out 
of the books of Galen and Hippocrates, in the college 
refectory, to all such members of the university as might 
please to attend. 

Thus the readership founded by Lynacre ceased to be 
regarded as his endowment very soon after its foundation ; 
and it is to king Edward VI. that the establishment of a 
public professorship of medicine is generally attributed : 
John Warner, doctor of physic, and warden of All Souls', 
being the individual then selected to fill the chair. 

It does not appear, however, that any royal endow- 
ment was attached to this appointment until the reign of 
James I. who gave the mastership of Ewelme in Oxford- 
shire to the reader of this lecture and his successors, 
and thus became the real and substantial founder of the 
regius professorship of medicine. 

From that time until the present, the professorships 

of his life he entered into holy orders, and obtained several valuable 
preferments. He died of the stone 20 Oct. 1524. His views for the 
advancement of medical science were not limited to the endowments 
already mentioned. Observing how much the practice of physic had 
been in the hands of illiterate monks and empirics, he projected the 
foundation of the college of Physicians, by which it was intended to 
vest in proper hands the power of granting licenses to practise physic. 
Lynacre held the office of president for seven years, and received the 
members at his own house in Knight- Rider street ; the site of which 
still belongs to the college, although after the fire of 1666 the meet- 
ings were held in Warwick lane. See his Life by D. N. Johnson, M. D. 
edited by Mr. Graves, London, 8°. 1835. 


connected with medical science have gone on progres- 
sively increasing in number, in proportion to the grow- 
ing sense entertained with respect to the greater range 
of study necessary for an accomplished physician. 

In the year 1623, not long after Harvey's celebrated 
discovery as to the circulation of the blood had been an- 
nounced, a provision was made for the encouragement of 
the most essential of these subsidiary branches of medi- 
cal education, in the endowment of an anatomical lec- 
ture by R. Tomlyns, esq. of Westminster ; directing that 
a reader of anatomy should be appointed, who, out of the 
funds left for the endowment, should employ a skilful 
surgeon or dissector to make public demonstrations of 
the human subject at certain stated times. The first 
person appointed as reader was Dr. Clayton, regius pro- 
fessor of physic, and master of Pembroke college, who 
delivered his inaugural lecture in May, 1624. 

Till within a recent period the anatomical lectures 
were delivered in one of the apartments underneath the 
Museum, now occupied by the professor of Chemistry ; 
but in the year 1750 Matthew Lee, D. M. of Christ 
Church, founded a readership for anatomy, and erected 
a distinct building for the delivery of lectures within the 
precincts of that college. It is in this building, now 
known by the name of the Anatomy School, that the 
lectures are at present delivered : besides which, the 
room affords space enough for an interesting collection 
of preparations illustrative of human and comparative 
anatomy, which are ranged round the walls in neat glass 
cases. There are also several beautiful wax models of 
the human body, executed at Florence, which have from 
time to time been purchased by the dean and chapter of 
Christ Church, in pursuance of the intentions and views 

B 2 


of the founder of the Anatomy School. Below the lec- 
ture-room are spacious apartments for carrying on dis- 


Inferior only in the scale of importance to a knowledge 
of the structure of the human frame, is an acquaintance 
with the nature and properties of those substances which 
operate upon it, and control its diseased actions. These 
being for the most part derived either from the vegetable 
or mineral kingdoms, constitute the subject matter of 
two distinct sciences — botany and chemistry ; both of 
which, therefore, are indispensable requisites to the me- 
dical art, and constitute important parts of professional 
education. Accordingly, during the course of the same 
century which witnessed the endowment of the first ana- 
tomical chair, provision was likewise made for the more 
effectual encouragement both of botany and of chemistry 
in the university b . 

b This century may perhaps be regarded as the golden age of Oxford 
science : it was during the course of it that a few individuals resident 
in the university, by their scientific meetings, laid the foundation of 
the Royal society ; it was then that Wallis, Seth Ward, Bathurst, 
and Wren flourished ; that Mellington the Savilian professor sug- 
gested to Grew the idea of the sexuality of plants ; and that Dr. Wil- 
kin s prosecuted at Wadham college his ingenious researches and 
speculations on various branches of physics. See Evelyn's Memoirs, 
for an account of a visit paid by him to the latter. 


The first of these studies, to which alone we shall now 
confine our attention, obtained a footing through the libe- 
rality of Henry lord Danvers, baron of Dauntsey in the 
county of Wilts, and earl of Danby in Yorkshire, at one 
time a gentleman-commoner of Christ Church ; who, in 
the early part of the 17th century, with a view to the 
general improvement of learning, and especially of the 
faculty of medicine, having selected a spot without the 
east gate of Oxford, which was then meadow ground, 
but had in ancient times been a cemetery for the Jews, 
presented the university with 250/. to enable them to 
obtain immediate possession of it. With this sum they 
bought out the lease of the person then in occupa- 
tion, and afterwards obtained one from the society of 
Magdalene college ; to whom, as the proprietors, they 
agreed to pay an annual rent of 40 shillings. The level 
of the ground was then raised considerably, by the in- 
troduction of fresh soil, in order to prevent its being 
overflowed by the contiguous river : and on the day of 
St. James the Apostle, A. D. 1632, the vice-chancellor 
and other dignitaries went in procession from St. Mary's 
church to the garden, where Mr. Edward Dawson, a 
physician of Broadgates' hall, spoke an elegant oration ; 
which being done, Dr. Clayton, the king's professor of 
medicine, spoke another. After this,, the vice-chancellor 
laid the first stone of the rustic archway, according to 
the ancient custom, and concluded the ceremony by a 
short address. The greater part of the ground had pro- 
bably been enclosed before with the present substantial 
wall of hewn stone, 14 feet high ; which, as well as the 
archway, was finished under the directions of Inigo Jones. 
The expense of the whole outlay is said to have exceeded 
5000/. The two figures of king Charles I. and II. which 


stand on the right and left of the said archway, were put 
up at a later period, being defrayed out of the fine paid 
by Antony a Wood for a libel on the earl of Clarendon. 

After the completion of the walls and archway, in 1633, 
the garden is said to have been stocked with various me- 
dicinal plants ; and John Tradescant the elder, who has 
been already noticed under the head of the Ashmolean 
museum, was appointed gardener . It is not certain, 
however, that this individual ever actually accepted the 
office, or took up his abode at Oxford in consequence ; 
at any rate his services there were of short duration, 
since he died in the year 1638, within six years from 
the establishment of the garden. 

The commencement of the civil wars put a stop to the 
munificent designs of lord Danby towards the Oxford 
garden ; and his death, which took place 20 Jan. 1644-5, 
prevented his ever witnessing their entire execution. In 
his will, however, he appointed certain persons to settle, 
by legal conveyance to the university, the parsonage or 
rectory of Kirkdale in Yorkshire for the use of the said 
garden ; and his brother, sir John Danvers, endeavoured 
to effect such an arrangement, that the garden should be 
kept in order, and the professor and gardener receive a 
stipend out of the revenues of the said estate d . Owing, 

c From an engraving in Loggan's Oxford, published in 1675, it 
appears that there was at that time one conservatory for tender 
plants, 60 feet long. It probably stood fronting the High street, to 
the eastward of the Danby gateway. It was covered with tiles, and 
seems to have admitted little light. 

d In 1654, when Evelyn visited the garden, he says the sensitive 
plant was shewn as a great wonder. There grew canes, olive trees, 
rhubarb, &c, but no extraordinary curiosities, except very good fruit, 
which the ladies tasted. In 1 664 Evelyn again visited the garden, 
where were two large locust trees, and as many platani, and some 
rare plants under the culture of the elder Bobart. 


nevertheless, to the unsettled state of the times, and the 
want of sufficient funds from the estate, which turned 
out less valuable than had been calculated upon, no step 
was taken towards the settlement of a professor till the 
year 1669, when Dr. Robert Morison e made applica- 
tion to the university for the appointment ; upon which 
it was agreed, that an annual stipend of 40/. should be 
allowed him on condition of his reading lectures at cer- 
tain times, most convenient to himself, during the spring 
and autumn. Accordingly he delivered his inaugural 
lecture in the school of medicine on the 2d of September, 
1670 ; and on the 5th of that month removed to the 
Physic garden, where he lectured three times a week to 
a considerable audience. The following spring and au- 
tumn his course of lectures was repeated, and occasion- 
ally afterwards, for in 1675 Evelyn attended one of them. 
He was diverted, however, from continuing them regu- 
larly by the prosecution of his great work, the * Historia 
Plantarum Oxoniensis,' of which he first published a 
specimen under the title of ' Plantarum umbelliferarum 
Distributio nova,' and afterwards a volume of the same 
work, entitled 6 Plantarum Hist. Univ. Oxon. pars se- 
cunda,' containing a description of herbaceous plants only ; 

e This learned botanist was a native of Aberdeen, where he re- 
ceived his education. Espousing the royal cause during the troubles, 
he received a dangerous wound at the battle of the Brigg near Aber- 
deen ; and upon his recovery took refuge in Paris, where he applied 
himself assiduously to the study of anatomy, botany, and zoology. 
In 1648 he took the degree of doctor of physic at Angers. From 
his skill in botany he was appointed superintendent of the duke of 
Orleans' fine garden at Blois, which he held till the death of the duke 
in 1660. Being known to Charles II, he was invited to England by 
that monarch, and appointed king's physician and professor of botany, 
with an appointment of 200/. and a house, as superintendent of the 
royal gardens. He died in London, 9 Nov. 1683, aged 63. 


that on trees and shrubs, which was to constitute the 
first part of the work, having never been printed. 

During the period that the professorship was held by 
M orison, Jacob Bobart the elder, a native of Brunswick, 
was gardener or supervisor f . He published a Catalogue 
of the plants in the garden in the year 1648, reprinted 
in 1658, from which it appears that about 2000 species 
were then cultivated, 600 of which were English. 

On the death of Morison in 1683, the son of this 
Bobart, also named Jacob, succeeded to the chair of 
botany, and continued the labours of his predecessor by 
the publication of the third part of the Oxford History 
of Plants. He died in 1719, in the 79th year of his ages. 

Of his two immediate successors, Edwyn Sandys, D. M. 
of Wadham college, and Gilbert Trowe, D. M. of Merton, 
nothing particular is recorded ; but in the year 1728 the 
whole establishment was placed upon an improved foot- 
ing, and its permanence more effectually secured, by the 
munificence of Dr. William Sherard. This distinguished 
patron of botanical science was born in 1658, and after 
passing through Merchant Taylors' school, entered at St. 
John's college, Oxford, in 1677, and afterward became a 
fellow of that society. He travelled much on the conti- 
nent ; chiefly occupied in collecting plants, and in forming 

f There is a small whole length of him in the frontispiece to 
Vertumnus, a poem on the garden ; 8°. Oxford, 1713. In this he is 
dressed in a long vest, with a heard ; which, it is said, on feast-days 
he used to have tagged with silver. He died 4 Feb. 1 679-80, at the 
age of 81, leaving two sons, Jacob who became professor, and Tille- 
mont who was also employed in the Physic garden. The present 
respectable bedel of the university is a lineal descendant of this pa- 
triarch of botany. He was buried in the church-yard of St. Peter's 
in the East, where there is a small tablet to his memory against the 
south wall. See Peshall's Monumental Inscriptions, p. 14. 

S There is a portrait of him in the Oxford Almanack for 1719. 


connexions with the most celebrated foreign botanists of 
the day ; such as Herman, Boerhaave, and Tournefort. 
He is said to have been the author of a book published 
under the name of Samuel Wharton, entitled ' Schola 
Botanica ;' being a catalogue of the plants exhibited by 
Tournefort to his botanical class in Paris for several 
years, during a part of which Sherard attended his lec- 
tures. He also edited Herman's ' Paradisus Batavus.' 
Being appointed consul at Smyrna, he availed himself of 
the opportunities which his residence in the East af- 
forded him of collecting the plants of Natolia and Greece, 
of which the dried specimens still exist in his herbarium 
preserved at the Botanic garden. On his return he met 
with the celebrated Dillenius, whom he induced to ac- 
company him to England in 1721 ; and in the year 
17^6 he commenced his designs for the advancement of 
botany at Oxford, by giving 500/. towards enlarging the 
conservatory, and by presenting a great number of cu- 
rious plants and a library of botanical works to the same 
establishment. He likewise made over to the Physic 
garden an herbarium, which rendered Oxford, in the 
eyes of Linnaeus, preeminent among the universities of 
Europe for its botanical treasures ; and which sir James 
Smith, only fifteen years ago, pronounced as perhaps, 
excepting that of the learned Swede in his own pos- 
session, the most ample, authentic, and valuable botanical 
record in the world. In it may be seen original spe- 
cimens from most of the writers of that day, named 
by themselves, accompanied by remarks, or by queries 
scarcely less instructive. He died two years afterwards, 
and by his will bequeathed 3000/. to provide a salary 
for the professor of botany, on condition that the univer- 
sity should supply the annual sum of 150/. towards the 


maintenance of the garden, and that Dr. Dillenius should 
be chosen the first professor. 

The university accordingly made an arrangement with 
Sherard's executors, by which these terms were accepted, 
and by which the appointment to the professorship, after 
the death of Dillenius, was vested in the college of Phy- 
sicians in London. 

The garden, as it existed in Sherard's time, was divided 
into quarters by a double yew hedge, which extended 
from the principal gateway to the opposite extremity, and 
by a similar one, which ran from east to west, intersect- 
ing the former at right angles. Between these hedges 
the public were allowed to walk, and there was at one 
time a thoroughfare into Christ Church meadow through 
the centre. But the square plots of ground enclosed 
within these hedges, which contained the plants, appear 
to have been less easy of access, and to have been kept 
under lock and key. Of these hedges, the one which 
extended across the garden from east to west was cut 
down in the time of the younger Dr. Sibthorp ; whilst 
the other, which divided the garden longitudinally, re- 
mained standing till the year 1834 ; when, having lost 
much of its former beauty, and being in the way of the 
new arrangements, it shared the same fate. The two large 
yews which in Bobart's time were clipped, according to 
the taste of the day, and the fashion of Dutch gardening, 
so as to represent two giants guarding the entrance to 
the garden on the side of the meadow, have been suffered 
to remain h . 

h These trees seem to have been the subjects of much rival wit in 
the university; for an account of which, see Gough's British Topo- 
graphy, vol. II. p. 138. No less than three ballads appertaining to 
them are preserved in Wood's collection in the Ashmolean library. 



As to the existing conservatories, with the exception 
of the stove-house erected in 1834, there are allusions in 
the letters of Dillenius to their erection by James She- 
rard, the brother of the consul. Fronting the street, 
however, and occupying much of the ground which now 


is included in the approach to the London bridge, was a 
long building, which appears to have been erected soon 
after the first establishment of the garden as a conserva- 
tory ; but which, probably when the new greenhouses 
were built, was converted into a receptacle for the herba- 


rium and library, and into a residence for the professor. 
This building having been pulled down about the year 
1790 l by order of the street commissioners, to improve 
the approach to the bridge, such of its contents as were 
thought of most value were removed into the great cen- 
tral greenhouse k , on the eastern side of the garden, 
which was soon afterwards converted into a library and 

In compliance with the terms of Dr. Sherard's will, 
Dillenius was appointed the first Sherardian professor of 
botany in the year 1728, and was admitted to the degree 
of D. M. in 1735. 1 In 1736 he received a visit from 

1 In a letter of this date, Feb. 4, from Daniel Prince, he says, 
* We are now taking down the Physic garden house and library ; i. e. 
the botany professor's house and botanic library (tho' both new build- 
ings), to make room for the approach to the bridge from the town.' 

k This greenhouse seems to have been enlarged about the year 
1715, in order to receive a great number of curious exotics presented 
in that year by bishop Robinson ; sometime a member and benefactor 
of Oriel college, as already mentioned. 

1 This distinguished botanist was born at Darmstadt in Germany, 
in the year 1687- He Was educated at the university of Geissen, 
and published a catalogue of the plants growing in that neighbour- 
hood, a work which established his reputation as a botanist. He also 
communicated various memoirs to the Academia naturae curiosorum, 
which appear in their Transactions, called Miscellanea Curiosa. But 
his great knowledge lay in cryptogamic botany ; and this, which at- 
tracted the attention of Sherard, who was himself attached to this 
department, led him to invite him to England. Whilst in this 
country, he engaged himself in the task of describing and delineating 
the rare plants contained in the garden at Eltham near London, 
belonging to Dr. James Sherard, the brother of his patron, who was 
likewise an enthusiastic botanist. This splendid work appeared in 
1732, in two vols, folio, under the name of Hortus Elthamensis, 
and was pronounced by Linnaeus one of the most complete works of 
its kind ever published. He also brought out a new edition of Ray's 
Synopsis, with sundry additions. But his most important work was 
the Historia Muscorum, which he brought to completion at Oxford, 


Linnaeus, whose new system of botany he did not choose 
to countenance" 1 . Their intercourse, however, at Oxford 
produced a mutual respect for each other's acquirements, 
and led to a correspondence which seems to have con- 
tinued till the death of the Oxford professor in 1747. 
Dillenius was of a retired disposition, and recluse habits. 
His corpulency, combined with his close application to 
study, probably brought on an attack of apoplexy, which 
terminated his existence in the sixtieth year of his age. 

Of his successor, the elder Dr. Sibthorp, of Magda- 
lene college, little notice is preserved ; but his son, John 
Sibthorp, D. M. of Lincoln college, who was appointed to 
the chair in 1784, will be ever memorable in the annals 
of botany for his zeal in the pursuit of science, no less 
than for his munificent designs to promote its advance- 
ment. The former feeling led him to undertake two jour- 
neys into Greece and the Archipelago, the first in 1784, 
the second in 1794 n . On his death, in 1795, he evinced 

and published at the Sheldon press in 1741. All the subjects of this 
volume were drawn and etched with his own hand ; and, in spite of 
subsequent improvements, the labour, accuracy, and discrimination 
displayed throughout the whole work will prevent it from ever be- 
coming obsolete. 

n > Linnaeus, it is said, surprised Dillenius in company with his 
patron Dr. Sherard, and having apologized in Latin for his inability 
to speak English, threw Dillenius off his guard, who said care- 
lessly to Sherard, ' This is the young man who would confound all 
botany.' Linnaeus gathered the meaning of this speech by tracing 
the verb confound to its Latin root ; and he soon took an opportunity 
of retaliating, by slightly alluding to it while he was demonstrating 
in the garden some of the new genera to which Dillenius had parti- 
cularly objected. He quickly constrained the Oxford professor to 
form a high opinion of his abilities, but could never succeed in mak- 
ing him a proselyte. 

n In the first of these journeys he engaged at Vienna, as draughts- 
man, the celebrated Ferdinand Bauer, with whom he visited Constan- 
tinople, Crete, Cyprus, and other islands of the Grecian Archipelago. 


his anxiety for the future advancement of his favourite 
science by making over to the Botanic garden all his 
drawings, books of natural history, and collections : and 
still more by bequeathing a freehold estate, for the pur- 
pose, first, of publishing his Flora Graeca in 10 folio 
volumes, with 100 coloured plates in each ; and after- 
wards of endowing a professorship of rural economy in 
his own university. Of the splendid work here men- 
tioned a part only has appeared in the interval since 
his death ; and the slowness with which the publication 
proceeds has reduced the subscribers, who never were 
numerous, to a very small amount. The work, however, 
will remain a splendid monument of the science and zeal 
of its author, though its value and interest would have 
doubtless been enhanced, had circumstances allowed of 
its more rapid completion. 

Dr. Sibthorp was succeeded by the late learned pro- 
fessor, Dr. George Williams of C. C. C, who continued in 

He also travelled over a considerable part of the Morea, and did not 
return to England till the autumn of 1787. The value of the services 
which Dr. Sibthorp had rendered to botany during these travels was 
generally appreciated, and the Crown in consideration of them made 
an addition to his stipend as professor in 1793. This augmentation, 
consisting of 100/. per annum, exclusive of the same sum granted 
towards the keeping up of the garden, was then charged on the privy 
purse ; but has since been annually voted by parliament. Dr. Sib- 
thorp, convinced that much remained to be done, for the completion 
of his great undertaking, set out a second time, in 1 794, for the same 
country, attended by Francis Borone as botanical assistant, and ac- 
companied by his friend Mr. Hawkins. With them he visited Bithynia, 
mount Olympus, the Troad, the Isles of Lemnos and Imbros, mount 
Athos, Attica, Patras, and Zante. Of the following year they spent 
two months in the Morea ; after which Dr. Sibthorp parted from his 
companion, Mr. Hawkins, and returned to England by Otranto. A 
severe cold caught during the voyage to that port proved the exciting 
cause of a pulmonary affection; which, after his return to England, 
carried him off in the February of the subsequent year. 


possession till his death in 1834 ; when the present pro- 
fessor, C. G. B. Daubeny, M. D. fellow of Magdalene 
college, was unanimously chosen. 

Considerable improvements have been lately made by 
means of a liberal subscription raised in the university, 
augmented by a contribution from the trustees of the 
RadclifFe fund, to which so many other public institu- 
tions in Oxford are indebted, and a donation of 500/. 
consols from the late professor of botany . 

The Sherardian herbarium, with other collections of 
older date, now occupies the whole of the lower apartment 
fitted up as a lecture-room in 1795 ; whilst the books, 
presented by Sherard, Sibthorp, and others, together 
with the more modern accessions to the herbarium, are 
secured from damp and injury by being placed in two 
spacious rooms on the first floor of a building just 
erected behind it, where they can be readily consulted. 
A new stove-house for tropical plants has been also 
added ; and two basins for aquatic plants have been 
constructed in the garden : the part designed for the 
illustration of the Linnaean system of botany constitutes 
all to the east of the central walk ; and that appropri- 
ated for the elucidation of the Natural Method includes 
all the space westward. The ground beyond the walls 
is confined chiefly to plants employed in medicine, agri- 
culture, and the arts ; except a part set aside for experi- 
ments connected with vegetable physiology or practical 
gardening. There is likewise a Salicetum near the river, 
containing almost every species of British willow. 

The most defective parts of the present establishment 
are the conservatories ; which being constructed a century 

° In Hooker's Botanical Miscellany, vol. I. and in the Philoso- 
phical Magazine for 1829, is an interesting account by Dr. Schultes 
of Landshut in Bavaria of his visit to the Botanic garden in 1826. 



ago, probably after the model of those which Sherard may 
have seen existing under a more southern and brighter 
sky, admit too little light to suit the atmosphere of Eng- 
land. It is to be hoped, however, so much having been 
already done to improve the garden in other respects, 
that the time is not far distant when these will also be 
placed more on a par with those of other universities. 

Were the funds of the garden sufficiently augmented, 
its situation affords singular facilities for making it one 
of the finest in Europe. A direct communication with 
the walks round Christ Church meadow might be ef- 
fected, with the concurrence of that society ; planting 
there all the varieties of hardy trees and shrubs, so as to 
make that the Arboretum of the garden : and an addi- 
tional aquarium, with a collection of marsh plants, might 
be formed out of the small island on the south side of 
Magdalene bridge. This would also be a great improve- 
ment to the principal entrance into Oxford, and the effect 
from the bridge would be very striking. 






The Martyrs' Memorial. 

It has doubtless occurred to many even the most 
casual admirers of the beauties of Oxford, that amongst 
the yet standing remains of pious and devout men, the 
many a noble fabric that tells so plainly of the holy 
dead, no record until lately has marked that all-important 
crisis in the history of our Church, the Reformation of 
the sixteenth century; that although in this very city one 
archbishop and two bishops bore testimony at the stake 
to the faith once delivered to the saints, yet that no 
monumental erection nor any public devotional act com- 
memorative of such an event remains ; nothing to shew, 
that Archbishop Cranmer, Bishops Ridley and Latimer, 
underwent that fiery ordeal amongst us. A moment's 
reflection however will shew that it has been out of no 
intentional disrespect to their memories that as their 
bodies so their names have been suffered to sleep in the 
dust of the earth, but that it has been entirely in accord- 
ance with a system that has prevailed in England, since 
the earliest dawn of a reforming principle shewed itself 
amongst us. Since that period the name of one only 
saint has been added to our calendar. Many reasons it 
is obvious are to be advanced why this should be so, 


many reasons especially why the names of the three of 
whom we write should be omitted by the Church, but 
this is not the place to enter into them ; they are only 
mentioned to shew that because out of sight they have 
not necessarily been out of mind, any more than we are 
to suppose that the society of the neighbouring college 
has forgotten its second founder, because no external 
mark is there to shew where rest his martyred bones. 

We live however now in a day when the appreciation 
of bygone worth, if not deeper felt, is more openly ex- 
pressed. It has become, what might almost be called 
with truth, the popular taste to respect and venerate the 
great and good to which in past ages our country has 
given birth ; and it was in accordance with such a 
feeling that about ten years since, on the 17th of 
November, 1838, a meeting was held in Oxford and a 
resolution passed, that the best mode of testifying a 
grateful admiration of the pious Martyrs would be the 
erection of a monumental structure, in which architec- 
ture and sculpture should combine to record the fact 
of their preferring the endurance of a most cruel death 
to a sacrifice of principles. Spite however of such a 
vigorous display, and of the feeling above mentioned, 
two years and a half were yet suffered to elapse be- 
fore any tangible evidence of the existence of such a 
will was to be made manifest to the world, and this for 
many reasons. It was the wish of some of the principal 
movers of the design, and a wish prompted by the 
highest and holiest feeling, that a church would be the 
most fitting monument of such a cause, and in accord- 
ance with this view a resolution was passed on the 31st 
of Jan., 1839, to the effect that a church should be built 
near the place where the Martyrs suffered, and that it 


should be made commemorative, chiefly by external 
decorations, of their faith and fortitude and of the cause 
and occasion of their suffering : but an obstacle to this 
quickly arose in the fact that no site near the scene of 
their death could be procured, that spot being sur- 
rounded by houses on all sides, besides having already 
two churches in its immediate vicinity a . This plan 
therefore proving to be impracticable, another gene- 
ral meeting was held on the 5th of March, 1840, when it 
was further resolved, " that, as the most appropriate 
method of carrying out the spirit of the resolution of the 
previous meeting, a monumental structure should be 
erected at the northern extremity of St. Mary Magdalene 
churchyard, in connection with the re-building and 
enlarging the northern side of that church, so as to be 
capable of containing about the same number of persons 
as it was proposed to accommodate in a separate church 
or chapel ; the aisle to be called the Martyrs' aisle, and 
to be made commemorative of them, their acts and suffer- 
ings, chiefly by external decorations." By this resolution 
it was thought that all difficulties would be removed ; 
there would be the distinctive monument pointing to the 
memory of the creature, a memorial of those who en- 
dured shame and death, " suffering wrongfully," and 
there would be the holy aisle, in honour of the Creator, 
of Him, who in the fiery ordeal gave strength and 
courage for the struggle. 

The committee would have been glad we believe to 
have fixed the site of the monument at a somewhat 
greater distance from the churchyard, but there were 

a The precise spot would be difficult to describe, but it must have 
been nearly on the site of the foundation of the houses immediately 
opposite the tower of Balliol College. 

B 2 


impediments in the way which could not easily be 
overcome, and the delay already occasioned made 
them fearful of any further protraction. Accordingly 
invitations were forthwith issued to the architectural 
world to furnish designs for the undertaking, suggest- 
ing to the competitors the Eleanor crosses as a general 
idea of the nature of the monument desired, and men- 
tioning more especially the one still remaining at Wal- 
tham for the particular type. The successful candi- 
dates proved to be Messrs. Scott and Moffat, of Spring 
Gardens, with whose exquisite and elaborate drawing 
it was determined at once to proceed. 

The day chosen for the laying of the first stone was 
Wednesday the 19th of May, 1841, the third centenary 
from that same month, in which the whole bible in 
English, and that bible Cranmer's, was first " authorised 
and appointed to be frequented and used in every parish 
church in England." The stone was laid, after a very 
eloquent address from the Rev. Vaughan Thomas, B.D., 
by the Chairman of the Committee of Management, 
the Rev. Dr. Plumptre, Master of University College. 
Within it was enclosed a copper plate, on which was 
engraven the same inscription as that which may now be 
seen upon the northern base of the cross. The Memorial 
from this time went steadily forward, and would have 
proceeded with greater rapidity but for the elaborate 
nature of the cross itself on the one hand, and on the 
other an unfortunate deficiency in the subscriptions, in 
consequence of the double call upon the original fund 
owing to the now two-fold character of the work. The 
aisle however, which was of the more immediate conse- 
quence, was continued with all possible industry, and 
after a due exercise of patience the crowning cross found 


its resting-place on the summit of the Memorial, to the 
infinite credit of those who designed as of those who 

The stone of which it is built is of the same charac- 
ter, as it is from the same vicinity, as that used in 
the erection of the New Houses of Parliament. It is a 
finely crystallized magnesian limestone, from a quarry 
near Mansfield in Derbyshire, and peculiarly fitted for 
a monument such as the Memorial Cross, combining 
hardness and closeness in its granular structure, with at 
the same time a capability of being cut in the most 
delicate possible forms. A moment's observation will 
shew in the exquisitely carved canopies and finials, how 
fully it has borne out the expectations formed of it. The 
figures of the Martyrs are of picked and well-seasoned 
Caen stone, and are carved by Mr. Henry Weeks, for 
some time the first sculptor in the late Sir Francis 
Chantrey's studio, and selected by Sir Francis himself 
as a fit person to undertake the work. In the niches in 
which they now stand, that to the north, facing St. 
Giles's church, is intended to represent Archbishop 
Cranmer, that to the south-east, or looking towards 
Balliol, Bishop Ridley, and that to the south-west, or 
the Corn Market, Latimer. 

It would be superfious in this place to enter into a full 
description of the cross itself; the general character of 
the Eleanor crosses are so well understood, and the 
engravings of our own Memorial so carefully and ac- 
curately executed, that the reader will gain a more 
exact notion of what it is from the annexed engraving, 
than any the most elaborate description of the pen. 
Suffice it to say that in its shape it is hexagonal, a form 

b 3 


which spite of the rich and varied decorations of canopy, 
and niche, and pediment, is throughout apparent. It 
is divided like other monuments of the sort into three 
stages or stories, with a terminating member, increasing 
in richness of decoration as we approach the top. The 
transition from one story to the other is exquisitely con- 
trived, so that in the gradation no appearance of abrupt- 
ness is at all discernible. The measurements of these 
stories is as follows; first story, 21ft. 7 in.; second 
story, 20ft.; third story, 13 ft. 2 in.; from croeketed 
parapet to the top of the finial cross, 1 1 ft. 1 1 in. ; which 
with the platform of steps on which it stands, 6 ft. 4 in., 
will give a total height of 73 ft. The proportions of the 
Waltham cross, which, as has been noticed above, it was 
the wish of the committee that the architects should 
keep in view in preparing their own designs, are very 
different from this. Its height is considerably less, 
whilst its base is of greater strength and solidity ; the 
former being no more than 45 ft., and the latter for such 
a height almost too wide and heavy ; the Memorial cross 
is also more carefully worked out in its detail ; in its 
basement story greater strength and boldness are given 
to the mouldings, more projection to the buttresses, and 
an increased depth to the receding panels ; the heraldic 
devices with which it is charged are also more effectually 
brought out. In the second story the principal niches 
are increased in width and more open on all sides, so 
that the statues are more fully and freely shewn than 
in that of Eleanor. The third story is far superior, 
carrying out the decorations to the very apex, while 
in the other it is scarcely more than an unornamented 


The inscription is as follows 























As it is generally for the sake of brevity termed, in 
reality comprehends under its roof two foundations or 
endowments, that, namely, of Sir Robert Taylor on the 
one hand, and of Dr. Randolph on the other. Of each 
of these it will be proper to speak severally, as each had 
its origin in the liberality of an individual. Sir Robert 
Taylor, by a codicil to his will dated in 1788, bequeathed 
certain monies and lands, afterwards commuted, in con- 
sequence of a dispute which arose between the heir, 
Michael Angelo Taylor, Esq., and the University, to the 
sum of £65,000, " for the purpose of applying the 
interest and produce thereof in the purchasing of freehold 
land within, or if possible to be made within, the juris- 
diction of the said University, for the erecting a proper 
edifice therein, and for establishing a foundation for the 
teaching and improving the European languages in such 
manner as should from time to time be approved of 
by the said Chancellor and Scholars in Convocation 

Sir Robert, if he had not experienced it in his own 
person, had probably witnessed the inconvenience to 
which young men were subjected, on rinding themselves, 
after having gone through the ordeal of a University 
education, still ignorant of those European languages, 
without a knowledge of which they could never rise to 
any important office in the state, or reap any material 
benefit from the rapidly advancing progress of con- 
tinental literature. 

The first act of the University towards carrying out 
the views of Sir. R. Taylor, and Dr. Randolph, ap- 


peared in the issue of a notice, bearing date the 6th of 
June, 1839, that a premium of £100 would be awarded 
to the architect who should furnish the best plan for 
the erection of two buildings, the one to contain lec- 
ture-rooms and libraries for the study of European lan- 
guages, the other to consist of galleries for statues and 
paintings. This notice was understood by the gen- 
tlemen who furnished plans for the undertaking, and 
understood probably according to the intention of the 
framers of the notice, to mean that the two buildings 
should in point of fact be only one building, or at all 
events, two connected by one and the same roof, so as 
to give the idea of one handsome edifice ; and hence 
arose a difficulty in the way of the architect, increased 
by the shape of the only available piece of ground 
to be procured, how to combine the two objects under 
an exterior which was only to represent one. And this 
must always remain the excuse with such who are 
dissatisfied with the present building, as well for the 
architect himself, as for the delegates who selected 
his design in preference to those of his twenty-seven 

Of the designs first sent in by the 31st of October 
five were set apart for consideration, and the opinion 
of a distinguished architect then at the head of his 
profession, taken upon them, as to their respective 
capabilities for the objects contemplated. The result 
was the award of the premium of £100, as above stated, 
to C. R. Cockerell, Esq., (now Sir C. R. Cockerell,) and 
a second premium of £50 to Mr. John Plowman, Jun., 
of Oxford ; the others failed principally in a most im- 
portant feature, namely, ' light.' On the 3rd of Feb- 
ruary, 1840, accordingly, the plans of Mr. Cockerell, 


* subject to future improvements in matters of detail,' 
were submitted for tbe approbation of Convocation ; 
on the 18th of the same month it was proposed * to 
nominate a delegacy to carry into effect the plans 
approved by Convocation, with power to confer with the 
architect as to the improvement in matters of detail, 
to arrange the contracts with the builders/ &c, which 
was at once approved and acted upon. A year was 
now passed in correspondence with the architect, having 
reference principally to the working drawings, plans of 
alterations, the receiving and deliberating upon builders' 
tenders, &c, so that it was not until the 23rd of 
March, 1841, that the University seal was affixed to 
a contract with Messrs. Baker, of Lambeth, on their 
undertaking to execute Mr. Cockerell's revised designs 
at a sum not exceeding £50,000. The work 'now went 
rapidly forward, so that in February, 1843, not two years 
from the signing of the contract, the galleries of the 
west wing were reported in a fit state to receive the 
casts of the principal works of Sir Francis Chantrey, 
liberally presented to the University by his widow ; and 
in eighteen months from this period, namely, in August, 
1844, the work contemplated in the contract was de- 
clared to have been completed. Two months however 
before this, regulations respecting the University Gal- 
leries had been approved by Convocation, which will be 
mentioned presently. Those having reference to the 
Taylor Institution were not submitted to the house until 
the 10th of April, 1845, when the particulars relating to 
the curators and their duties, the library, and the 
porter, were passed ; those of the professors, teach- 
ers, and librarian rejected. As however the proceeds 
of the Taylor fund had been anticipated to a large 


amount in the erection of the building, and the entire 
resources therefore not being yet available, there was no 
immediate hurry in coming to a conclusion with respect 
to these appointments, and consequently plenty of 
time for weighing the question more thoroughly and as- 
certaining more exactly what was the general sense of 
the University upon the matter. It was not therefore 
until the 4th of March, 1847, that regulations were 
agreed upon, which form the present statutes for the 
government of the Institution, and those or some of 
them at least of only a temporary character, proba- 
tionary that is for a period of five years. 

The Curators were to be nine in number. The Vice- 
Chancellor, the two Proctors, and the Regius Professor 
of Modern History, to be four of that number. The 
remaining five to be approved by Convocation. 

To hold their office for five years only, but to be re- 
eligible. Their duties to be, to nominate the Professor 
and Teachers, under certain restrictions ; to remove the 
Teachers if need be ; to appoint the Librarian, and if need 
be to remove him ; and in short, to exercise the general 
government of the Institution, and to carry the Regula- 
tions into effect. 

They were moreover empowered to employ a sum 
not exceeding One Thousand Pounds in the purchase 
of books for the general purposes of the Institution, and 
to employ a further sum, not exceeding One Hundred 
Pounds in each year, in the purchase of books, pam- 
phlets, periodicals, and journals, for the same general 

The first Professor was to be appointed, and at first 
for Jive years only, with the title, " Professor of Modern 
European Languages ;" but to be re-eligible. 


To be removable at any time with the concurrence 
of at least five Curators for neglect of duty, or for 
immorality, or for teaching or holding tenets at vari- 
ance with the doctrines or discipline of the Church of 
England ; to be a Member of the University at the 
time of his admission, and to receive an annual stipend 
of £400. If in holy orders, to have no parochial charge 
during the residence hereinafter required of him. His 
duties to be, to lecture on the Philology or Literature 
of some of the principal Languages of Europe. The 
Lectures to be gratis, and open to all Members of the 

A Librarian also was to be appointed by the Curators, 
at an annual stipend of £150. To be resident in the 
Building, and to have the charge and superintendence of 
it. The Library to be open to all Members of the Uni- 
versity within certain hours during daylight. 

In addition to the officers above named, Teachers 
were to be appointed at first in German and French, 
and for five years only, but to be re-eligible, at an 
annual stipend each of £150. Their teaching and lec- 
turing to be gratis, and open to all Members of the 

The Library has been already furnished with a con- 
siderable number of books, chiefly works of Italian 
writers, by the bequest of the Rev. Robert Finch b , who 

b The Reverend Robert Finch, a native of London, only son of 
Thomas Finch, of Great Ormond Street, in the city of Westminster, 
Esquire, sometime scholar and M.A. of Balliol College, Oxford, died 
at his residence in Rome, Sept. 16, 1830. 

By his will, dated August 19, 1828, he gave (inter alia) "all his 
books, manuscripts, statues, busts, bas reliefs, bronzes, medals, coins, 
gems, prints, pictures, and drawings " to Henry Mayer, Esq., of 
Leghorn, in Tuscany, for his life, and after his decease to the Univer- 


was formerly a member of Balliol college, and dying at 
Rome in the year 1830, bequeathed his books, together 
with some pictures, &c, to the University. It is a hand- 
some room, measuring forty feet square, and lofty, and 
indeed is the only important feature in this part of the 
building ; the remainder being occupied by rooms of 
different dimensions, as lecture rooms and studies for 
the Professors, with lodgings for the Librarian. 

The Taylor Building is comprised in the wing which 
faces St. Giles's, and is entered from the street by a 
flight of steps rising from between four columns, on 
the capitals of which rest four statues, intended to 
represent the languages of Europe. On the base of 
each are engraved the names of the most famous 
literary characters of France, Italy, Germany, and 
Spain. The remainder of the building is devoted to 
sculpture and painting, and styled 

sity of Oxford, " upon condition that the whole be kept separate from 
any other collection and be called and named Finch's collection, and be 
deposited in the Ashmolean Museum, or if there be not ample space 
therein, in some other convenient building where visitors and students 
may have access thereto." 

" And in order that the aforesaid collection might not be deteriorated," 
the testator further bequeathed, " from and immediately after the decease 
of the survivor of Maria his wife and the said Henry Mayer, to the 
Warden of New College, the Master of Balliol College, the President 
of Trinity College, and the Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum and 
their successors in office for ever, all his monies vested in 3|- per cent. 
South Sea Stock (which amounted to £1060), the yearly interest of 
which he enjoins should be divided into two equal portions, of which 
one moiety should be employed in maintaining and preserving the col- 
lection, and the other moiety in purchasing useful objects /to increase 
the same." 

Mrs. Finch died in March, 1 839. The life interest of Mr. Mayer in 
the collection was purchased by the University in 1840, and it was then 
brought over from Italy. j 


The history of their erection has been told in that of 
the preceding building-, so that it remains only to 
speak of their object. The legacy of Dr. Randolph, 
bequeathing £2000, was to the intent that a building 
should be erected for the reception of the Pomfret 
statues, belonging to the University of Oxford, and for 
paintings, engravings, and other curiosities which may 
occasionally be left to that learned body. The Pomfret 
statues, which were before deposited in the Logic schools, 
now occupy the greater part of the basement-story as 
well as a portion of the gallery facing Beaumont-street, 
and which measures 180 feet in length, by 28 in width. 
The western wing at right angles with the gallery, mea- 
suring 90 feet by 28, a very handsome room, is at pre- 
sent given up to the Chantrey statues, or busts and casts 
of monumental and other effigies in plaster, the original of 
some of the principal works of that distinguished sculptor. 
On the upper story are rooms or galleries for pictures, 
the entrance to which is by a stone staircase adorned by 
way of frieze at the top with casts of the Phygaleian mar- 
bles, representing the battles of the Centaurs and the La- 
pithse ; the originals of which are in the British Museum. 
Adjoining the landing is a small room or ante-room form- 
ing the access to a fire-proof gallery of 70 feet by 28, in 
which is exhibited a collection of original drawings by 
Raffaelle and Michael Angelo larger than exists in any 
other gallery in Europe. Of the former great artist 
there are as many as one hundred and ninety drawings, 
of the latter, whose works are so rare as scarcely to be 
known beyond the Vatican, eighty. In the Louvre only 
three are to be found by M. Angelo, and twenty-one by 


Raffaelle. The collection was originally formed princi- 
pally by sir Thomas Lawrence, at whose death they 
came into the hands of the Messrs. Woodburn, by whom 
they were offered to the trustees of the National Gallery. 
This negotiation failing, it was suggested by Dr. Cramer, 
then principal of New Inn Hall, now the dean of Car- 
lisle, that such an acquisition would form a grand nu- 
cleus on which to form a collection for the University 
Galleries ; and accordingly at a meeting held in the Rad- 
clifFe Library on the 9th of November, 1841, the Vice- 
Chancellor in the chair, it was resolved unanimously to 
enter into a subscription for their purchase, and " that 
all members and friends of the University, and all who 
take an interest in the cultivation of the fine arts, be 
earnestly invited to contribute to the proposed object." 
From the statements then made, it appears that in ad- 
dition to the Lawrence collection, entire with the ex- 
ception of a few previously disposed of to the king of 
Holland, others had been added from the collections of 
Mr. Harman, one of which, a study of heads in black 
chalk, had cost him the sum of £300. 

The sum asked for the whole in the first instance was 
ten thousand guineas, and the subscriptions went rapidly 
on until it reached about one fourth of that sum. From 
that time it became more and more languid, and it was 
evident that the collection must have gone abroad or 
been dispersed, had not a noble lord (the present earl 
of Eldon) stepped forward in a most princely spirit, and 
contributed the munificent sum of four thousand one 
hundred pounds to secure them for the University : the 
proprietors at the same time very liberally abating their 
original demand, that so interesting a collection might 
not be lost to the country. The room in, and desks on, 


which they are exhibited, are all very well calculated to 
exhibit their perfections to the utmost, and as it could 
not be that they should remain in London, we may well 
congratulate ourselves and the country that they have 
found a resting-place in Oxford. 

The adjoining chamber is a handsome picture gallery, 
lighted from the roof, 100 ft. long by 28 wide, and the 
same in height. Its present furniture, with the excep- 
tion of a picture or two lately presented, has been bor- 
rowed from the picture gallery of the Bodleian Library. 
Its attractions we hope will increase rapidly. 

The following regulations respecting the University 
Galleries were approved by Convocation, June 6, 1844. 
Curators. — The Curators to be three in number, not 
under the degree of M.A., B.C.L., or B.M. To be bona 
fide resident in the University. To be nominated by the 
Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Vice-Chancellors, and two Proc- 
tors, or the majority of them, and approved by Con- 
vocation. To make rules from time to time for the 
opening and closing of the Galleries, and for the ad- 
mission of Visitors. To appoint the Keeper and his 
Assistants, and if need be, to remove them. To super- 
intend the whole Establishment. (Members of the Uni- 
versity in their Academical dress, and friends accom- 
panying them, to be admitted without Fee.) 

Keeper. — The Keeper to reside constantly within the 
Building. To receive an annual stipend of £100. To 
have the charge and custody of the Galleries and their 
contents under the direction and control of the Curators. 
To be in attendance in the Galleries whenever they are 
open to Visitors. 

.•! University College. 

B Balliol— B' Grove and Gardens. 

C Merton—C Gardens. 

D Exeter—/)' Garden. 

E Oriel. 

F Queen's — F' Garden. 

q New— ff" Cloister— G" Garden. 

H Lincoln. 

/ All Souls'—/' Garden. 

J Magdalen — V Cloister — 

/" New Building. 
K Brasenose. 
L Corpus — V Garden. 
M Christ Church— M' Peckwater Court- 

M" Canterbury Court— 

M'" Chaplains' Court. 
N Trinity— N' Gardens. 

St. John's — 0' Gardens. 


q Wadham— Q' Fellows' Garden — 

Q" Warden's Garden. 
R Pembroke. 
« Worcester— S' Gardens— 

S" Provost's Garden. 
T Magdalen Hall. 
U Edmund Hall. 

V St. Mary Hall. 
W St. Alban Hall. 
A* New Inn Hall. 

Y The Schools. 

Z The Radcliffe Library. 

a The Museum. 

6 The Theatre. 

c The Clarendon. 

</ The Observatory. 

, The Infirmary. 

f The University Printing-Housb. 

g The Botanic Garden. 

I, The Castle— ¥ Tower and Mill. 

h" Mount and Well Room. 
i The City Gaol. 
/ The Town Hall. 
X- The Gas Works. 

1 The Baths, St. Clement's. 
m Ruins of Rewley Abbey. 

n Oseney Mill— n' Oseney Lock. 
o Almshouse opposite Christ Church. 
p The Market, High Street. 
q Gloucester Green. 
r The Martyrs' Memorial. 
s The University Galleries and 
Taylor Building. 

\^^*J3B&j&tT+f&;iffi\.i- Ufa* 

^l^Mzc: Wi 



1 St. Peter's is the East Church. 

2 St. Mary's Chi RCH. 

3 The Cathedral. 

4 Merton, St. John's Church. 

5 St. Giles's Church. 

6 St. Mary Magdalen Church. 

7 St. Michael's Church. 

8 St. Martin's, or Carfax Church. 

9 All Saints' Church. 

10 St. Aldate's Church. 

11 Holywell, or St. Cross CHCRcn. 

12 St. Clement's Church. 

13 St. Peter's le Bailey Church. 

14 St. Ebbe's Church. 

15 St. Thomas's Church. 

16 St. Paul's Church. 

17 Roman Catholic Chapel. 

18 Boulter's Almshouse. 
in Stone's Almshouse. 

20 Brasenose Lane. 

21 St. Mary Halt, Lane. 

22 Magpye Lane. 

23 Coach and Horsks' Lane. 

24 Rose Lane. 

25 Pembroke Street. 

26 Beef Lane. 

27 Brewer's Lane. 

28 St. Ebbe's Street. 

29 St. Thomas's Street. 

30 Castle Street. 

31 Friars' Street. 

32 Blackfriars' Road. 

33 Gas Street. 

34 Bear Lane. 

35 Logic Lane. 

36 St. John's Terrace. 

37 St. John's Road. 

38 Littlegate. 

39 Jesus College Lane. 

40 Part of Cowley Parish. 

41 Wesleyan Chapel. 

42 Baptist Ditto. 

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